It’s a beautiful day and you would like to take your daycare children to the neighbourhood park. There is just one tiny problem. You have children who arent old enough to walk, some who can walk, but not that far, and others who love to run quickly up ahead, especially near busy streets.
Not to worry, we can get everyone to the park safely without you having to carry anyone. Strollers come in a variety of options; singles, doubles, triples, quads, and six seaters. Before you purchase a stroller, you need to think about the number of non-walkers you will have in the long term. Most children can walk successfully a short distance by the time they are two and a half. Of course it depends on the child but you will find many three year olds who really enjoy walking. You might have three non-walkers at the moment but in four months from now you might only have two.
I would recommend getting a double stroller and a wagon. This combination of vehicles will provide seating and space for non walkers, tired walkers and toys. Do your research and decide on the type of double you would prefer. Side-by-side? Tandem? Jogging? One that converts to a bike trailer? Sit and stand option? Remember to consider its weight and size when folded. Will it fit in the trunk of your car? On the bus? In the mall? Will it go through a standard sized door? How will the tires handle on rough terrain, mud, or snow? Is there a rain/sun cover option? Is there enough storage space?
I have owned a few single strollers, a double jogging stroller, a double bike trailer convertible stroller, a double umbrella stroller and two different styles of triple strollers. We live in Canada so I have found the bigger the wheels the better it handles in the snow. Most children love to ride in a wagon so even when they reach the stage when they no longer want to sit in a stroller they are still happy to climb into a wagon when they get tired or when you come to a busy area. My favourite trick is to use a utility strap to attach my wagon handle to my double stroller. I can push the stroller with two hands and pull the wagon as well! This enables me to have four seats available when I need them.
Busy streets or crowded areas can sometimes be a bit worrisome when you have multiple children in your care. Your young walkers can hold onto the sides of your stroller or if you tie a short strap attached to a ring onto the stroller they will probably happily hang onto the ring while crossing a busy street. Another great tip to keep a potential ‘runner’ safely by your side while crossing the street, is to enlist their help in pushing the stroller. Children aged two years to five years LOVE to be helpers. I have also found that they love to pull the wagon, either empty or with a friend inside.
Some caregivers will use a sling or child carrier to carry a young baby and then pull a wagon or push a stroller with toddlers inside. Other caregivers prefer using a wagon that has trailer attachments. Each trailer attachment fits one child and it ends up becoming a train. Some people dont realize just how noisy wagons are until they use them. Rubber wheels really help keep the noise level down.
Second hand strollers are a great option for caregivers who dont want to make a large investment when they are first opening up their daycares. Now grab your wheels and head off to the park for some fun!