10 Tips for Marching (Safely and Successfully) With Your Kids!

Prepare for the march by reading books about social action, like "Brave Girl". More suggestions here.

Prepare for the march by reading books about social action, like “Brave Girl”. More suggestions here.

Many of us are planning to take our kids to one of the hundreds of Women’s Marches happening around the country on January 21st. Here’s how to make it great:

  1. Talk together about why you’re marching. Books can also help spark conversation on themes of the march–see the great suggestions here.

  2. Make signs together. It gets kids invested and they can show signs off with pride at the march. You can even dress up!

  3. Overdress for the weather. This is different from being outside for 30 minutes. Dress as if it were 15-20 degrees colder than it is and bring snow boots, hats and gloves, umbrellas and rain gear. If it looks wet out, try to wear wool or synthetics and avoid cotton.

  4. March with other kids. It’s way more fun. Or during the march, find others your kid’s age.

  5. Bring stuff to make it more fun. Speeches by adults, no matter how stirring or lofty, can be tough for kids. Marching can be tiring. Bring a new toy. Be ready to tell made-up stories or games like I Spy or 20 Questions. Consider a phone or tablet as a last resort. It’s like travel–do what you need to do.

  6. Extra snacks, lunch, and water! There are some important bag restrictions at the big DC march (scroll down on this page) but you are allowed to bring food, and your little ones will need it! And bring a treat to lift their spirits at a key moment.

  7. Stay found. Keep kids next to you and tell them to stay close. Tag kids with your cell number and other vital info or sharpie it on their arm. Take a pic in the AM so you have one with the clothes they’re wearing. Talk to them beforehand about what to do if they get lost (they can ask a parent for help, or police along the route). Have a meet-up spot for adults or teenagers if you get separated and phones aren’t working.

  8. Be flexible. If kids get too cold or tired (or being there starts to feel unwise or unsafe), retreat. You showed up! Nobody says you have to be there for every minute.

  9. Consider a pee bottle or travel potty. There will be port-a-potties but lines can long. Bring wipes and hand sanitizer.

  10. Plan travel carefully to deal with crowds. If you’re going to the DC march and planning to take the Metro, there are lots of helpful suggestions here.

And most importantly, have fun–and thank you for teaching your kids to speak out for justice!

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