Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Surviving an Auction with Kids

#1 idea would be not to being them with you :). For us that isn't really an option, so I thought I'd share some of our experience.

Auctions are boring for children. They drag on forever, especially if they don't understand what is going on. The few things that might be fun to play with, they can't and the novelty wears off pretty quickly. So prep for the auction like your would a doctors appointment. Lots of extra snacks and games to keep their hands busy.

For older kids electronic games or dvd players a good idea, but for our little guys that doesn't keep their attention. We just bring a few hot-wheels and they make their own fun. As long as the weather is nice, there is always a little spot somewhere we can sit and play when they need a break.

Bring a partner. My husband and I tag team. So we go early, decide what we'd like to buy and he can do the bidding while I kid-wrestle. It's pretty easy to communicate with someone across a crowded room if they are looking for your signal.

Get your older kids involved. If you're picking out new animals for the farm, have them help you select individual chicks, or explain why this or that adult bird is a better choice. You can even have them bid (ask the auction organizers first) as long as you're right beside them to give the "real" signal to the auctioneer.

One thing we learned this time with the chickens, was to bring sturdier boxes. There wasn't a huge amount of space in the auction hall, so the kids kept bumping and kicking the boxes by accident. None of the chicks got hurt, but next time we'll bring stronger crates with us.

Try to keep them quite, I know not everyone is overly keen on little kids, and an auction hall isn't really a great place for them. If your kids are going to cause a big disruption you're going to have to leave, so come prepared with that possibility in your mind so you don't get angry at them later.

Best of Luck!

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