To finish off the topic of playground fun I was doing some internet research. I found a website for playground safety and was astonished to read how many children are treated in hospital ER’s for injuries that happen on playgrounds. As the adults it’s our job to properly supervise, to see if the area is clean and free of debris, to notice if there are repairs or maintenance needed, to judge if the children are the appropriate size for the equipment, and that the surface is intact, etc.
We also have another task, to help children learn about safety. Some kids are hesitant and need coaxing to venture down the slide or only like little pushes on the swing. Some are much more adventurous, sometimes reckless. We need to use simple explanations and watch for understanding. For example: Feet go down the slide first, not heads. Feet can jump and land, heads bonk. Only one on the swing and one down the slide, no swing or slide ‘sandwiches’. These are only a few playground safety reminders. The issues you deal with depend, to a great extent, on the age and tendencies of your children. But even quite young children need, and can benefit from, safety training. Have fun and play safe.
Has this been a concern for your family or childcare facility?
“I one a playground. I two a playground. I three a playground. I four a playground. I five a playground. I six a playground. I seven a playground. I eight a playground.” Excuse-me, did you say you ate a playground?
Instead of eating one, how about drawing one? Drawing is the first way that your child expresses meaning through print. It’s a step before writing and helps reinforce that meaning-print bond. Asking your child to draw a picture of a playground also gives clues about the feelings. Is it a happy picture? Does the slide loom above the people, possibly indicating a fear? There may be differences between a drawing done by a female child as opposed to a male child. Boys tend to draw actions while girls draw things and people. Displaying a child’s drawing provides a boost to feelings of worth, too. Another way to play at the playground, even if it’s raining.
How did your playground taste?
Sometimes a visit to the playground just won’t fit the day’s plan. Did you know you can turn your backyard into one? This is a project that can be done with your child and a friend or two that should take them some time. Materials needed are a fairly big box or two, a couple kitchen chairs, an old blanket and small, dark old towels. The old towels can be stepping stones, place them just far enough apart for jumping on a surface that won’t slip. The kitchen chairs covered with the old blanket can make a great tunnel for crawling through. It can also double as a fort. The box is for climbing into. Planning where things go, how to set them up and then playing in the ‘playground’ will keep them busy and out of trouble, maybe? Any other ideas for playground in the yard fun?
Playing in the playground is not just good for kids’ physical development, it’s also great for their social and emotional development. (Social and emotional can be thought of as two sides of the same coin, one side for how we get along with others and one side for how we manage our own selves. They … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Playground Fun #6
This week, either to take advantage of summer weather or to encourage the sun to supply some summer weather, playground time has been the topic. There are countless different ways of building on that playground time to expand children’s learning. When kids are little learning is fun and all the teachable minutes add up to a considerable total by the … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Playground Fun #5
Imagination is like any other skill. For some people it is easier than for others, but for all of us, it gets better with practice. A playground offers just as much opportunity for exercising the imagination as it does for exercising the body. The monkey bars can be a deep, dark jungle or an exciting … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Playground Fun #4
So far playground time has helped kids learn some basic reading skills-making connections between text and experience-and promoted physical development. That’s something to sing and swing about. Here’s a simple song that uses the Mulberry Bush tune: This is the way we swing on the swing, swing on the swing, swing on the swing. This … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Playground Fun #3
Yes, fun at the playground can even help build prereading muscles. This is a simple and appealing book for preschool and kindergarten kids. Maisy, the mouse, goes to the playground and has fun, of course. At home, you can read what Maisy does and then go off a playground and do those things, too. Talking … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Playground Fun #2
Time at the playground is more than working off energy. Lots of learning happens in this space. On the swing, even if your child doesn’t yet know how, the back and forth motion is a basic rhythm. It’s also a simple pattern. The slide is a physical experience of opposites, up/ down. Think of all the … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Playground Fun #1
Tomorrow, is Father’s Day. Several children in my kindergarten class live in a different house than their dad or have minimal contact. Even at this young age some of them have lost their dad. The issue of Father’s day and Father’s day cards and gifts has to be handled with sensitivity, just as Mother’s day does. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Father’s Day