Friday, July 24, 2015

20 Ideas to Keep the Park Fun

Since we have been using public parks as a way to get out of the house and not spend money on entertainment here are some ideas for keeping the park fun- even when you are there a lot.

  1.  Pack a Lunch- don't bring the same thing every time. Try to mix it up the best your budget allows. But just having the picnic can change it up from just going to play at the park.
  2. Special Treat- we had a play group that for a while had snow cones at the park once a month. Don't go out and buy a snow cone machine, but there are homemade Popsicle, Otter pops, frozen fruit, cookies- lots of things that you don't give them all the time that you could bring to the park for a special treat. I actually find these the most fun when you bring plenty and encourage your kids to share with the other kids at the playground. 
  3. Bring a blanket and lay out on the grass. Have everyone point out a cloud and what it looks like to them. Or bring some books and paper and encourage them to read or draw while on the blanket. Read a book to them, or sing some songs together.
  4. Play games- tag, hide & seek, rhythm games (clap and pat games), mother may I, red light green light. Get other kids involved. Best part is if you get the game going with other kids you can normally sit out and no one cares.
  5. Bubbles- make your own with water and dishsoap (search pinterest there are a ton of "bubble recipes" on there) or at the Dollar Store you can get a really big bottle for a dollar.
  6. Sidewalk chalk- again at the Dollar Store, we also have buckets of the stuff around the house from kids birthdays (it is a very popular gift).
  7. Take a Walk- if you live close enough to walk to the park- cool, if not or if you do that all the time, change it up by going to a park with a walking path. Walk around before you go to the playground. Use this time to point out plants and wildlife.
  8. Bring your Bikes/wagon
  9. Water guns/ water balloons, even a kiddie pool can be fun at a park. But be considerate of families at the park if it isn't a splash pad park. They may have chose the non-splash pad park because they didn't want to deal with wet children.
  10. Bring a bag of balls- there was this dad who every time they came to the park he had a mess laundry bag full of different sized balls. He encouraged all the kids to play. It was awesome. Kids love balls and if it is a park with lots of running space they can throw, roll, run all over the place.
  11.  Play dates. Invite new/different friends to join you at the park. If you invite people directly (phone call, facebook message, text message) they are more likely to join to over a general invite through a mass text or a facebook status. By changing up the friends your kids have to play with, they will get board much slower.
  12. Change the park you go to- we all have the park that we like to go to because of whatever that reason is (clean bathrooms, walking distance, playground, grass, covered playground) but if you're going a lot -try a new park, it will help make it more exciting for your kids again.
  13. Get out into Nature- whether it is at our normal park and having them draw or play bingo to find local wildlife (birds, squirrels, bugs) or go picnic in the wild, make the goal to experience what is around them. Hint: If you have toy magnify glasses or binoculars this is a great time to use them.
  14. Buckets and shovels- my kids love the sand. I hate dealing with it in their shoes. But to change it up bring the digging stuff along and plan on them digging till their hearts are content. 
  15. Farmers' Market Time- Sometimes I avoid the city park on the days the Farmers' Market is there.  But if you aren't doing it too often, or go with it in mind, the people watching can be fun. Play "I spy" with your kids. Our Farmers' Market often has live local performers, my twins love to dance and spin around to the music. Also with the increase people there are often more kids to play with and make new friends.
  16. Scavenger Hunt- make a list of things to find, or do it like an egg hunt, bring the items, hide them and have the kids find them.
  17. Fly a kite- make your own (again check out pinterest) or the Dollar store has decent kites. 
  18. Make a tent- rope (laundry clothes lines work great) find to place to tie between tie it up cover it with the blanket you brought (sheet or tarp would work great too.
  19. Get daddy to take them, or go as a whole family. Whenever my husband goes with us, it changes the whole dynamic of park play time.
  20. Lastly, if you are going a lot, limit the time you spend physically at the park. Only stay an hour. If you are never there long enough for them to start getting tired of play at the park then they will still be excited to play there they next time they go.
Know your kids limits, but also don't limit yourself to how well that idea went last time. Your kids are growing up all the time, maybe this time...

Also I have seen parents try to do crafts at the park- I'm sure there are times it goes just fine, I have never seen it go over well. The closest was once when the craft was assembly of food, it didn't go great, but all the kids were super happy to eat their treat.

What things to ya'll do to keep the park new and fun?

No comments:

Post a Comment