I like to enjoy some time outside on days that are nice. When I saw the forecast for my day off this week, I decide Little Crab and I would go to a park we had never been to before. We had such a good time, but I did some planning before hand. Sometimes it is nice to not plan a thing and see what happens. Most of the time I can’t let that happen. Toddlers and Preschoolers are not good at “going with the flow”. I wanted to share a few tips on enjoying a day (or in our case, a few hours at the park).
1. Give choices whenever possible. As soon as we got out of the car at the park, I got down to his level and I said “ok you have an important decision to make. Do you want to go to the playground first or walk this trail and see where it goes.” His eyes lit up and chose the playground. I planned on doing both so it really did not matter to me which we did first. Letting him chose went a long way with building his self esteem and building our relationship.
2. Find shade. I was in luck! There was a bench close to the playground in the shade at the park. If you have read any of my previous posts you know how I feel about other parents at the park. Little crab enjoyed the playground for a few moments, and I sat in the shade and enjoyed the fresh clean air.
3. Take drinks and snacks. After a while at the playground I coerced Little Crab to my park bench with a cool drink and a snack. Earlier in the morning I had spent a few moments putting snack type foods in some sandwich bags. Strawberries, melon, crackers, cheerios, graham crackers whatever your child loves to eat.
4. Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately. I probably don’t have to even mention this one, but I will anyway. If you are going to a park, expect a level of messy play. Make sure your child has on shoes that he/she can run and jump in. If the park, like the one we visited, has trials be sure you are dressed appropriately for hiking. Even though most of the trails we were on were partially paved, Little crab wanted to walk the ones that were not. Flip flops would not have been a good choice that day. I’m glad we wore sturdy sandals and clothes that were for play.
5. Have fun! You took the time to plan this, you packed the bag, dressed appropriately, made your way to the new park and let your child choose what they wanted to do. Now let go and have a good time!