Indoor playgrounds are just as important to kids as they are to their parents. Whether it be for inclement weather, lazy afternoons, or a just a fun, familiar place to meet friends, they are provided for the enjoyment of the entire family. That is why we are so concerned with safety and appropriate playground etiquette.
Aaron Goldschmidt, founder & director, Shine
Here are 5 golden rules to keep in mind when at an indoor playground with mixed-aged children:
- Keep older children out of areas designated specifically for younger children.
- Avoid bringing your own toys as they often create conflict.
- Remove jewelry, glasses, and extra pieces of clothing.
- Do not allow physical or verbal bullying, “clubs” or exclusive play, violent play like war, or pretend shooting.
- Stay alert! The playground is not an opportunity to take a break from adult supervision.
If there is a problem, discipline quietly or accompany the child from the playground until he\she is under control. Abusive language is unacceptable by adults and children. A brief “time out” in a quiet area usually works as an appropriate consequence.
Erika Thormahlen, teacher
Rules keep children happy and safe, but they don’t have to take the “play” out of playground:
- Explain to older children that they have the “big boy” or “big girl” responsibility of keeping little ones safe. Encouraging them to share and enforce the rules of designated play areas creates a sense of in-the-know duty which young children love.
- If your child insists on bringing a toy, explain that it must be one that they are comfortable sharing.
- Your child should wear comfortable, play-friendly clothing. Please consider that while covering your child’s feet may be more sanitary, socks and stockings can get slippery on equipment.
- Come prepared with game suggestions for your child and her playmates. Sometimes pretend-play just needs some inspiration from a grown-up to get things going in a constructive, imaginative direction.
- Playgrounds are dynamic environments where anything can happen. Even if you feel you “know” your child and feel comfortable taking your eyes from the action, it’s best to stay safe, stay involved and stay off your iPhone.
SIDEBAR OF PLAYGROUND ACTIVITIES:
- Hide and Seek
- Simon Says
- London Bridge
- Red Light Green Light
- Ring Around the Rosy
- Duck Duck Goose
- Mother May I
- Relay Races
- Indoor Treasure Hunt