A few weeks ago, my kids had a long weekend off so we went to a playground that we don’t normally get to go to.
I was so excited, because in my mind I pictured it to be much bigger and to have some really cool features that most playgrounds don’t have. I thought they would be so excited. We did have a good time, but it didn’t really go like I expected.
I had to pee immediately after we got there, but of course the bathroom was really far from the playground. I tried to hold it for as long as I could, but I was so uncomfortable. Eventually, I had to drag my kids with me to the bathroom. They were so upset with me that you would have thought I was taking away their favorite toy.
Despite this little mistake, I can still say that I’ve learned a few things over the years about what makes a playground fun. I’ve also learned what not to do. Of course, like most things in parenting, there’s always room to learn more!
So here are 7 things to do to make sure your kids have fun at the playground:
1. Drink Lots of Coffee
Drinking lots of coffee before an outing with your kids is really tempting because you need energy to keep up with your kids. When taking your kids to a playground it’s especially tempting because they’ll want you to play with them. Even though you might be bringing your kids to a playground so that you can get a break, they WILL want you to play with them.
Drinking at least 3 cups of coffee will ensure that you have enough energy to do this. It will also mean that you will need to pee. You’ll have to drag your kids with you to the bathroom, because of course you can’t leave them there to play unsupervised. Your kids will be so happy that they’ll forget they’re even at the playground!
2. There Can’t Be Bathrooms Nearby
Since you’ve fueled up on coffee, no matter how many times you pee before you leave the house you’ll need to go again once you get there. Our bladders as moms went through the ringer when we were pregnant and the aforementioned children sat on them for 9 months. It’s ok though. Moms are used to having to hold it when we have to go.
Also, if you really want to have a good time at the playground make sure to bring your potty-training toddler to a place that doesn’t even have a bathroom! This is the best recipe for fun!
3. Don’t Bring Any Snacks
Your kids will surely be hungry the minute you step foot out of the car, even though they will have just eaten breakfast. Be sure not to pack enough snacks so they’ll whine about how hungry they are the entire time you’re there.
Definitely don’t bring a variety of snacks, because your child will never change their mind and refuse to eat the food that was their favorite the day before.
4. Don’t Pack Any Extra Clothes
This tip is mostly for the moms with younger kids. Make sure not to bring any extra clothes. You never know when there’s going to be a potty accident and your child will need a fresh outfit.
Plus, I remember the times when my toddler had a meltdown because he dumped water on himself and then no longer wanted to wear his shirt because it was soaking wet.
Older kids will sometimes need a change of clothes too. They might go down a wet slide or decide to play in the stream if the playground has one. Or if you misjudge the weather and 74 degrees actually “feels like” 59, you’ll wish you had jackets.
So if you want to ensure a fun day at the playground, make sure you aren’t prepared for any of these situations.
5. Choose A Playground Without Any Shade
In the summer, you’ll want to make sure that you find the hottest playground you can! That means find one without any shade. Fortunately there are plenty of this type of playgrounds around so you won’t have a hard time with this one.
6. Don’t Give A 10 Minute Warning
If you want your kids to have the best day ever, do this one thing. Be sure to grab them in the middle of their fun and tell them it’s time to go. Don’t give them a 10 minute warning so they can finish up their game or go down the slide one last time.
7. Don’t Invite Any Friends
Hopefully by now you’ve caught on that I’ve been giving you bad advice. So if you’re smart enough to do the opposite of what I’m saying, you’ll make sure to invite friends to meet you at the playground. This will actually solve most of your problems.
Your kids will have someone to play with and will stop bugging you to play Hide And Seek Tag. You will also have someone to watch your kids while you run to the bathroom, and you might even be able to bum a few snacks off of them.
If you have a clothing emergency, chances are your friend will have a backup to share. Plus, when it’s time to go home, you can make sure to coordinate with your friends to leave at the same time. This is why finding your village, is such an important part of being a mom! Your mom friends are always there to back you up!
I hope you can learn from my mistakes and help your kids have the best day ever the next time you go to a playground!
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