playground activities

Playgrounds Exercise Imaginations Too

Playgrounds are not only fun spaces to play, they are great places for learning and kindergarten readiness too, exercising bodies, brains, and imaginations. In only a few minutes of watching kids playing on the playground, we can see how varied are the places they are imagining.

playground activities for fun, learning and kindergarten readinessNot all playgrounds have a pole for sliding down, but when they do, it can of course be a just like the firefighters’ pole. Kids will imagine hearing a fire bell and rush down to put out a fire. But the pole can also be on a ship, in a house, inside a mountain, or elsewhere. It can be a staircase that magically changes into a pole when needed for going down. Slides are often mountains for climbing up instead of sliding down. Tunnels can be underground or under the sea. Monkey bars and other equipment that kids play in or under, offer unlimited possibilities as homes, forts, stores, space stations, forests, restaurants, hospitals, and other places, even out of this world.

Kids do not just imagine other places, they also imagine actions. Airplanes and spaceships fly in the sky, and so do swings, so it’s easy to imagine flying through the air when swinging. Bridges can hide trolls that come out when kids stomp across them, just like in the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Kids imagine driving cars, riding on horses, jumping across oceans.

playground alligator or crocodile swampThe ground of the playground can become the swamp and kids have to find ways to stay on the equipment without stepping in the swamp because of the crocodiles and alligators. (A friend of mine posted this picture yesterday when she came home from a bike ride and saw this real one near the sidewalk! I like the imaginary ones better.)

The imagination is vitally important for learning and for relating to others. In order for kids to understand how someone else feels, they need to be able to imagine. Imagination also helps kids figure out the real world. What does your child imagine on the playground?

Playgrounds Are Fun For the Whole Community!

playground fun and learning for kidsPlaygrounds are not just fun and learning for kids, but for the whole community. And kids can feel part of the community at the playground. Today, in our area, there was an outdoors event happening in two local parks, both of which have wonderful playgrounds. There were tables of displays, crafts, and yummy things to eat, as well as playing on the equipment. Kids were not the only ones climbing and swinging, either! Parents were too.

playground fun and learning for kidsWhen it comes to supporting the kindergarten readiness of young kids, we often think of ABC’s and 123’s. But kindergartens are tiny communities and for kids to feel confident and comfortable at school they need some experiences with groups. Groups can be small, such as activity groups like dance or swimming lessons, or large as in big community events. When we take kids with us to celebrations and events, we are giving them practice in groups. Those opportunities will help children far beyond kindergarten and outside the boundaries of local areas.

Are there some community events and celebrations happening where you live this weekend? Can you and your children have some playground fun and community connecting?

Playground Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness #9

Playgrounds offer a fun space where children can stretch their own personal fears and overcoming fears is a part of kindergarten readiness and a life-skill. Some children are pretty much dare devils and it’s the parents and caregivers who are scared, but most children will have their own ideas about what is scary and what is okay.

playground learning activities for kindergarten readinessFears are unique to each child. In a group of children, some might be afraid to go down the pole but not to climb the rope ladder. Others may be the opposite, quite eager to zoom down the pole but do not like the rope ladder. Some children will go up and down the slide, but not up and down on the riding equipment. And with kids, something that is fine one day may be too scary the next.

It is quite a balancing act for adults to encourage children without being pushy and putting pressure on them. Children will usually want to do something more than they are currently doing, especially when they see other kids. Often, kids will ask for help, until they feel confident that they can do it on their own, such as catching them at the bottom of the slide, or standing close when they climb up the monkey bars.

Of course, safety is always a concern and requires that parents and caregivers are watchful but to support your child in trying to grow beyond fears and doubts, a visit to a playground may be helpful. Is your child working through some fear issues on the playground?

Playground Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness #8

Playgrounds are great places for fun and learning that will support children’s development, and kindergarten readiness, sometimes in unexpected ways. One of these is learning about opposites. Figuring out opposites can be challenging. Usually, opposites are all of one thing or another, such as up/down, open/close, or empty/full. This kind is easier to learn. Opposites … Continue reading Playground Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness #8

Playground Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness #7

While waiting for time in the day to go to the playground or park, kids can draw about it for fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness. Drawing is both a play and a learning activity. When kids are drawing and coloring, they are exercising both muscles and brains. It’s easy to see how children are using … Continue reading Playground Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness #7

Playground Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness #6

As children play on the playground, there are many opportunities for different fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness, including some basic math ideas. Math is not something separate from everyday, and if children are used to math being part of whatever they are doing, they will feel more comfortable and confident with it later on. One … Continue reading Playground Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness #6

Playground Fun, Learning & Kindergarten Readiness #5

Celebrating Get Outdoors Day is as easy as going to the playground with your child for some fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness. Surprising as it sounds, children’s achievement in school is influenced by their social confidence. Because playgrounds often have quite a few children all playing and having fun, it’s a great place to support … Continue reading Playground Fun, Learning & Kindergarten Readiness #5

Playground Fun, Learning & Kindergarten Readiness #4

Although it seems like a contradiction, for kindergarten readiness and academic success children need to be able to regulate their behavior and have some basic early skills to make friends (Bodrova & Long, 2005). Research is showing that children who are more comfortable socially also have higher marks and those with poor social skills are … Continue reading Playground Fun, Learning & Kindergarten Readiness #4

Playground Fun, Learning & Kindergarten Readiness #3

Rhythm is an important concept for many activities and children need lots of rhythmic experiences for math, language, memory, kindergarten readiness, and more. So much of our bodies have a built-in rhythm, such as breathing, heart beat, walking, day-night cycles and others, that adults do not realize that children need to develop an understanding of … Continue reading Playground Fun, Learning & Kindergarten Readiness #3

Playground Fun, Learning & Kindergarten Readiness #2

Brains are wired to learn through sensory stimulation, and two important senses are movement and the sense of the body’s position in space. Yesterday’s post discussed the kindergarten readiness fun and learning that can happen on the playground in terms of ways the body moves. Today’s post is based on the body in space. Decades … Continue reading Playground Fun, Learning & Kindergarten Readiness #2