Kids are generally curious. They like to discover things and figure out stuff. This is why parents love tour experiences: to feed their kids’ curiosity, educate, and show them things they normally see only in books. But delivering a tour that is engaging for both kids and adults can be tricky. You need to consider pace, content and activities in order to keep everyone entertained and engaged. Here are some tips to help.
The most common mistake most tour guides make is they try to do too much and squeeze in as much information on their tours as possible. With limited time, it’s nearly impossible to cover everything. You don’t want to bombard your guests with too much information.
The key is to focus on the top line stuff. Focus on key areas; have a clear theme or story you want to tell and use that to structure your tour.
Kids love stories. They care less about when and where things happened, they care more about what, why, and how. As soon as they can understand stories, they will start to appreciate the story behind the exhibits.
Kids have lots of interests like dinosaurs, animals, space, etc. Try to relate your tour content to things they might be interested in. If you want them to engage, ask questions. How high do they reckon that kangaroo can jump? How many school buses could fit in that gorge? What kind of insect made the honey in this jar? Listen to them; they might have something interesting to share.
You don’t need to know everything to be a good tour guide; you just have to know enough, especially the most interesting information. If you’ve done your homework, you should be able to pull together some interesting tidbits or stories that will capture kids’ imaginations. That’s probably easier where dinosaurs or animals are involved, but it is possible for other kinds of tours, you just need to be creative.
Taking photos while on your tour is not just a good opportunity to create a nice keepsake, but gives the kids on the tour something to do. A Polaroid camera provides a lot of fun and makes it easy for the kids to take their photos home at the end of the tour.
When in doubt, sugar. You are sure to win kids over with lollies, and it can help you keep their interest and attention.
Kids are usually up for a good time. They want to have fun! So pick your content wisely, relate to them and pick up the pace. And when it doubt – try lollies!
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