Taking a trip to the park is the go-to activity for many harried parents. It’s a great way to entertain the kids on a sunny day, or even when there’s snow or rain. However, if you do it a lot, you might find that it’s getting boring. Or maybe you don’t go often, and once you arrive, you don’t know what to do. Do you just send the kids off running so you can take a break on a bench? There’s lots you can do at the park, although some parks will have more to do than others. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get outside, so try the activities below.
Find Out What the Park Has to Offer
Every park is different. Smaller spaces could just be some paths, grass and a few trees and benches. These places are great for picnics, walking the dog and letting the kids run around. But they’re not so good if you want a structured activity. Larger parks will offer things for you to do, which could for free or cost money. Take New York’s Central Park, for an extreme example. It’s the most visited urban park in the country, and it’s no surprise. It has a zoo, boating, tours, restaurants, and more. Your nearest park might not be anywhere near as big, but there could be a lake to use or perhaps a cafe.
Be Imaginative on the Playground
Playgrounds always provide plenty of fun because the kids can climb all over them. But even a playground can get a little boring if you visit it all the time. If your children need a bit of inspiration, you could make up some playground games. The playground equipment can be anything you want it to be, so encourage the kids to be imaginative. The jungle gym could be a fairytale castle being protected by a dragon. The slide could be a log flume taking them whizzing down the side of a mountain.
Parks provide a slice of nature, even if you’re in the middle of a city. There are lots of ways to explore the flora and fauna, no matter how old your kids are. You can go on a bug hunt to look for creepy crawlies. You could challenge them to collect different colored leaves or do a treasure hunt for other items. In some parks, you might be able to do some bird watching, or even spot some small mammals like rabbits, if you’re lucky. Even a game of I-Spy can be a great way to learn about your surroundings.
Of course, parks are also excellent places to exercise. There are plenty of fun games to play to get the kids running about. Take a ball to kick or throw about, or play tag for a game without any equipment. You could also go on a hike or a run, or take your bikes for a ride through the park. The park is the perfect place to burn off any extra energy if the kids have been cooped up for a while.
Visits to the park don’t have to follow the same pattern. Think outside of the box to make sure you always have something fun to do.