Daily Adventure Number 2: Find a New Playground
From neighborhoods and community centers to county, state, and national parks, there are more playgrounds today than ever. Chances are, if you do some looking, you will find a new one (if not several) nearby. So, why not take a drive?
Playgrounds promote physical activity, creativity, and social interaction. As long as the playground is safe and designed for children that are your child’s age, parents can generally supervise from the sidelines. Of course, creating games and playing make-believe can be fun for the whole family, particularly if you have the playground to yourselves.
Where to Go
Probably somewhere less than 30 minutes from your home, unless you live in a rural area. Check out local elementary schools and local parks, or do some research online before you go. Many park websites list their amenities, and you can even use the “satellite” feature on Google maps to get a bird’s eye view of what you will find.
What to Bring
Snacks and Water
Bring plenty of healthy snacks to keep your children’s energy levels high. Water (or another healthy and hydrating drink) is a must for any outdoor activity, particularly when it is hot or your children might be playing in the sun.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray
Sunscreen and bug spray are always a good idea when doing activities in nature. If you are picky about ingredients, make sure you read the labels (or do some research online) before trying a new brand.
If your children want to bring some of their favorite toys, that’s okay. Just make sure they pick toys that are appropriate for the playground setting (i.e. they aren’t small enough to get lost and your children won’t mind sharing them with new friends).
5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Daily Adventure
Tip #1: Check the Weather
Nothing ruins a fun day at the playground like an unexpected thunderstorm. Check the hourly forecast before you go to make sure you aren’t likely to get rained out.
Tip #2: Pick the Right Shoes
On playgrounds, it is best for children to have sturdy and well-fitting shoes. Leave the sandals and dress-up shoes at home, and make sure any laces are tied.
Tip #3: Try to Learn as Much as You Can Before You Go
Once you pick a playground to try, try to learn as much about it as you can. There might not be much (or any) information available, but you might be able to find information about things like age restrictions, safety concerns, or public hours on social media or elsewhere online.
Tip #4: Check Out Other Nearby Activities
While you’re out, why not try something else new, too. If the playground is in a park, what else does the park have to offer? Could you try a new café or ice cream shop on the way home?
Tip #5: Help Your Children Explore
If your children are timid about exploring a new playground, help boost their confidence by giving them suggestions and explaining how unfamiliar pieces of equipment are intended to be used. Once they get started, they probably won’t want to leave.
What You’ll Get Out of It
As with all of the Daily Adventures, trying something new can be motivating and inspiring for the whole family. Even if you aren’t personally interested in what the playground has to offer, you might find something else new that you didn’t know existed. You could also ask any other parents who are at the playground what other interesting activities are nearby. Finally, watching your kids explore a new environment can tell you a lot about their interests and proclivities, and it will give you something new to talk about on the way home.