As the weather begins to warm up, many parents will start to take regular trips to local parks and playgrounds. A beloved part of childhood, parks provide entertainment, fresh air, and a neutral location for meetups with friends. However, similar to many parts of toddler life, preparation is key. If you want to make the most of your time outdoors, follow these tips for park days.
Do a Bit of Research
Few things are more frustrating than doing all the work to get out the door only to discover that the park is inaccessible for some reason. For this reason, it is always worthwhile to do a bit of research beforehand. Most cities have a parks and recreation website with details on local parks, and Smyrna is no exception. The Smyrna city website includes addresses for all local parks and also allows you to search the parks according to amenities (such as playgrounds and bathrooms). A quick peek at the park website will help you avoid bathroom emergencies, poor directions, or showing up at a park only to realize it doesn’t have a playground.
Springtime weather is especially unpredictable in Georgia, so preparing for a variety of possibilities is wise. Dress yourself and your child in layers, preferably with a waterproof coat on top. Hats and sunglasses are also a good choice since the sun may or may not make an appearance and sunburn is possible even when the weather is still cool. For your feet, choose sturdy shoes that can handle mulch or other playground materials. You want your child to be able to run, climb, and play without fear of slipping or getting debris in his shoes.
Bring Water and Snacks or a Picnic
Even if you don’t expect to stay for long, you never know what the day may bring. Even throwing a couple of apples or granola bars in your bag counts as being prepared. Water is especially important since not all parks have water fountains and playing is sweaty work. Of course, be sure to verify the park’s food and drink regulations before you bring anything in. Some parks disallow all glass or ask that you dispose of food in particular ways. And of course, always check with other parents before distributing snacks because of food allergies.
This is one of the tips for park days that will look different for every family. If it rained recently, the park has water features, or you are potty training, you should probably bring extra clothes. Or if you have an infant and expect to stay very long, plan on extra diapers. Whatever you think you may need, pack extra. For example, taking along extra water, snacks, tissues, pacifiers, socks, or sunscreen never hurt anyone. However, only you can evaluate what will really benefit your family. No need to overpack! Just tuck away a few extra essentials just in case.
A family day at the park is awesome! At the same time, parks are a great place to meet up with friends and enjoy time together. If you are headed to a park, try calling or texting a friend once you decide on your destination. They may or may not be able to join you, but the gesture is appreciated and friends at the park make a visit extra-special. Children often bond on playgrounds, inventing new games and having adventures together. And while your children enjoy playing, you have the opportunity to talk to other parents with fewer interruptions. The park is a great place to develop friendships.
Leave Special Things at Home
While your child may feel devastated to leave her new stuffed animal, it is wise for all special toys to stay home. Firstly, toys are easily lost, broken, or forgotten at the park. Secondly, a special toy can become a point of conflict between your child and other children playing at the park. It is far better to enjoy the entertainment that the park provides and let the teddy bear greet her at the door when she gets home.
With spring approaching, the park is probably on your calendar. Just follow these simple tips for park days to ensure a fun and safe adventure. Are you looking for childcare in the Smyrna area that encourages children to be active and play outside? Look no further than Legacy Academy Smyrna. Call or visit today to learn more.