for handling kids
A visitor can be
a dream or a nightmare. It's all up to YOU!
More about some typical visitor behaviour that guides may find difficult to handle. Be aware, that half of the
problem is YOU.
Kids can be the easiest or more difficult visitors to handle. It's
all up to YOU!
Good things about kids
They can find things very well: they are short, they are sharp-eyed,
they are curious. Encourage them by praising them EVERY TIME they
find something. EVERYTHING they find is interesting, say something
about every find.
Even these things
- Dead leaves:
they break down into little bits and are eaten by animals. Some
animals like the Leaf porter crab hide under them.
- Small stones:
"How do you think it got so smooth?". Animals and seaweeds may
be stuck to the stone. Some animals look like stones!
- Dead corals:
explain coral structure
- Dead snails:
here's more about talking about dead
- Bits of rubbish:
talk about littering.
- Piece of
wood: animal bore into them.
- The 20th
crab that they found: observe behaviour, compare with previous
- Dead animal:
"Let's see what is eating them?" talk about scavengers, "Why do
you think it died?"
They ask a lot
of questions. Encourage them. No question is stupid.
Parents who come with kids often do so for the kids' sake. Don't
try to entertain the parents at the expense of the kids. If you
take care of the kids and ensure they have a good time, the parents
will also be happy.
Not so good things about kids
They are restless and won't listen. This is good practice for you
to keep your stories short and relevant.
Give them 'assignments'. "Who can find me a crab?" "How many different
kinds of seaweed can you find?"
They interrupt you and say silly things. This is good practice for
you to re-arrange your talk and tour to match the interests of your
They pick up things and disturb things. This should be minimised
if you had done a good pre-walk briefing about not touching, and
a good first station about how every inch of the shore is alive.
But if they persist
- Ask why
they are disturbing the animal. Usually, it's because they want
to see it come out or to do something interesting. Encourage them
to observe quietly.
parents to control the kids by explaining what will happen if
the kids persist. "If you keep trying to touch that crab it might
bite you". "If you bring home that snail it will die and be very
They run all
over the place. This should be minimised if you had done a good
pre-walk briefing about not climbing rocks and sticking together.
Try to find out what they find interesting and stick to those things.
Kids generally like crabs, small animals. They are not interested
Not so good things about parents
Parents may say something that is wrong. Try to gently correct.
If not, just let it go. It's not the end of the world. Better to
save the parents face than to force the issue.
Parents may encourage kids to do the wrong thing: touch things,
annoy animals, etc. Gently highlight the dangers of such action.
be a bad guide. Be a good