Julian’s first word was “dig dig.” Sure, he said “mama” and “dada,” but” dig dig” was the first thing he said all on his own. We were at the bookstore reading Dinosaur Dig, and he was 19 months old. He’s now 5, and still as fascinated with diggers as ever. Only now, it’s diggers, skid steers, integrated tool carriers, front loaders, backhoes, trenchers and… pretty much any other large vehicle. So, Touch a Truck events are his jam — and we’ve been to many a Touch a Truck in the last 3+ years. We went to the Sharonville Touch a Truck on Monday, and had a blast! As we gear up (pun intended!) for truck-filled summer, here are 4 tips for Touch a Truck fun:
Due to the sheer size of these vehicles, Touch a Trucks are usually in a large, open space. The sun really starts heating things up, especially as you’re waiting in line for the Monster Truck or Garbage Truck. You’ll really want to slather on the sunscreen — and bring lots of water.
Also — it can be a nuisance having your kid wear a hat that will inevitably be replaced by free firefighter or construction worker hats, but definitely get your kid to wear a hat. Their faces will be protected by the sun — plus, they won’t be squinting in your pictures!
Arrive at the beginning (or end)
Double check the time frame, and arrive early or nearly late. Touch a Trucks get really busy as the day wears on — arriving mid-event guarantees you’ll be standing in lines for everything. I like to arrive near the end — the crowds have waned and lines are usually much shorter. For this particular Touch a Truck, we arrived with about an hour left, and it worked out really well. Plus, we got to see the trucks leave at the end — all three kids were memorized by the giant fire trucks pulling in their sky-high ladders.
Bring your camera!
You’ll have lots of photo ops at these events — and your kid is going to want to see all the pictures later. Take lots of pictures and videos — seeing your pint-sized preschooler in all the big machines is pretty much the cutest thing ever. One year, I made Julian a photo book with the pictures — and he still loves looking at it!
Don’t forget the Tylenol
Touch a Trucks are loud. We’re talking lots of screaming, squealing kids, honking and beeping to their hearts’ delight. You’ll be standing inches away from a skid steer, waiting in line, while kid after kid beeps the horn repeatedly. It gets really loud — and I’ve definitely left with a bit of a headache. So stay hydrated — and keep the Tylenol on standby in case you need it! Because, these kids are all having so much fun — and when else are they allowed to beep every horn they want?
Recently, I read an article in Scientific American about kids and play. There was a study where two groups of kids were given the same toy: one group was shown how to use the toy, while the other group was simply given the toy without any instruction. Ultimately, the kids who were given instructions played less than the kids not given instructions. In other words, when kids are allowed to play spontaneously (touching, exploring, etc), they are able to learn more — and have more fun, too!
The article made me think of Touch a Trucks, and how kids have so much fun exploring everything. If you’re able, definitely try and make it to one (or all!) of these summer Touch a Truck events. Your kids are guaranteed to have a blast — and, as long as you keep the Tylenol handy, so will you!
For a complete list of Touch a Truck events in Cincinnati, please check out our 2016 Touch a Truck Guide.