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?
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?
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 coordination and muscle skills children learn: climbing, sliding, swinging, stretching, reaching, jumping, running, pushing, pulling, etc. Children learn various ways to experience and position their bodies in all different kinds of spaces; the slide is much less confined than inside the monkey bars. Children learn timing, too, as they calculate just when to let go and when to hang on. And that’s only a start. Besides all the physical learning, there’s social, emotional, communication, language, math, science and more.
Come back to the playground tomorrow for more learning and fun, a terrific idea for summer.
The headline in the paper said “The Hoop Is Back”. The reporter interviewed Sadie Yancey from Virginia and Toronto and she talked about the increasing popularity of hula hoops and their health benefits combined with fun. A hula hoop is a great idea for kids. Learning to hula with one can be tricky but kids can also roll it … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Hoop it Up
Vacations can mean time in the car, a bus, a plane, or a train. Besides pit stops and breaks for bathroom visits, kids need to move their bodies. Besides needing to wear off some energy, kids also need exercise for their bones. Childhood is the most important time for a healthy skeleton. Activity makes children’s bones … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Exercise Pit Stops