Going to a playground or park is a rite of passage for all children. It is a classic activity that is free and hopefully close by to where you live.
And there is always a reason to spend time outside.
Just cleaned the kitchen and don’t feel like it getting dirtied up again by serving your family lunch? Head to the park!
Wanting to make mommy friends while your little ones play? Head to the park!
Need your kids to burn off some energy before bedtime? Head to the park!
While going to the park is easy, quick and beneficial for parents and children, there are several things you may need to take into consideration before walking out the door.
Picking a park
Landscape Structures are the experts at helping children gain confidence through mastery and self-discovery and instill lifelong skills.
When my daughter mastered the monkey bars recently she was so excited to share her talent with me.
Seeing her face light up with pride and happiness was truly priceless to me as a parent!
Their playgrounds are beautiful and well designed.
They design better playgrounds that welcome all ages and abilities- which is so helpful especially if you have children ranging in different ages.
They also strive to be a signature gathering space for communities- so they would be perfect for hosting a party, BBQ or playdate.
My local playground has amazing shade umbrellas that are so nice especially during the hot, sunny months.
Once you know which playground you’ll be going to- you’ll want to remember some essential items to make sure your experience continues to be successful.
Don’t forget water! Water is so important when it comes to staying hydrated and healthy while you play outside.
Fill water bottles or a thermos filled with ice to help them stay cool longer. Consider getting one for each person in your group.
Here’s a trick: throw a few water bottles into the freezer so that they can serve as an ice pack for other food you may bring- and a refreshing drink once they begin to melt.
Sunscreen is often forgotten- but it is so important!
If you have a bag specifically for park outings- try keeping a designated bottle of sunscreen in your bag so you’ll always have it.
If your kids are anything like mine- they’ll want a snack.
I definitely don’t feel bad about bringing a snack or two for them because I know they are burning so much energy running around and playing.
Some snack idea that pack well are: string cheese, oranges, apples, grapes, crackers, apple sauce packages,
Blankets are a great to spread out not only so you have somewhere to sit- but to “claim” your spot and a place to keep your belongings.
It is also helpful so your kids can easily spot you- and your blanket when they come and go to play.
If you have a baby then naturally you’ll keep wipes with you.
But if you’ve passed the diaper and wipes stage you might want to think about keeping a pack of wipes in the car or in your bag for park days.
They come in handy for cleaning sticky messes, faces and hands. While you’re at it- throw in a bottle of hand sanitzer, too! Together you can clean hands between park play and having a snack.
Try adding balls, bubbles, hula-hoops, water toys, or shovels and buckets to your playground experience.
You’ll be amazed at how your kids will use their imagination when they have added things to play with.
With these tips and tricks your playground experience is sure to be a hit for young and old.
Cindy Maudsley lives in Utah with her husband and five children. Aside from writing, her passions include her family, faith, and spreading infertility awareness. She also loves a good book or podcast, true crime documentaries , Netflix binge, diet Coke and Target run