Now that the weather is getting warmer all we want to do is be outside. What better place to spend a few hours outside than at a great park! So pack up the kids and take them to the park.
Before you go though take a survey of the parks that are available in your area, because not all parks are created equal.
Here are some things you may want to consider before heading out to the local parks:
- A park that your children will enjoy– Make sure that the park is age appropriate for your children. If your child can not swing on their own you will need a toddler swing or at least other equipment your child will love! Some parks have separate sections for toddlers and then for older children.
- clean and safe – Make sure that the park is clean and not full of garbage. Also, check to make sure that the equipment is in good working order. Check out the surroundings. Is the park close to a busy road? Is the park too secluded? Is there parking close by?
- What is the ground covered in – Ground should be covered in something that is safe for playing. I would avoid cement and would rather opt for a rubber mat or soft mulch or even rubber mulch.
- Ages of other children playing – Are the children that play at this park close to the age of your children? Are other parents present watching their children? Some parks can become places for older children to hang out and although this okay, if they are running on the equipment a younger child may not be able to play as freely.
- Is there a place for a picnic – I love to take a lunch to the park. The parks that I like the most do not all have picnic tables, but they all have an area that you can set up a picnic either at a table or on a blanket.
- Is there a restroom – You may require a park with a restroom facility. If so is the restroom clean? Is it fairly close to the playground. If not will your small children be able to make it to the other side of the park in time.
- Shady area – Especially during the really hot months, I prefer a park that offers some shade.
After you find a great park, make sure that you have the ultimate park experience. Go at a time of day that is best for the weather as well as for your child. In the morning on a hot day in the afternoon on a cooler day.
If your child takes a nap, plan accordingly. Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water. Have your children in clothing that will allow them to play. Loose fitting cotton clothes it what works best for my kiddos.
If you are planning a picnic bring a blanket or tablecloth in case there are not any tables available.
I hope that you have plenty of great parks in your area. Once you find a good one try to visit often. It is a great way to spend time with your children, allow them and yourself to get some exercise in the day and to relax after a long day or week.
The park can also be a great place for children to learn new skills and maybe even make a new friend or two.