Fun Things to Do at the Playground (Besides the Swings!)
Sure kids love the obvious things about the playground—hanging upside down on the monkey bars, swinging feet-to-the-sky on the swings—but so many great social things happen there, too. They learn to get along with other kids. They learn to share public space. And you love watching them play and feel the sense of childhood delight. Playgrounds are all about the carefree nature of being a kid.
Here are some ideas for fun at the playground, beyond the obvious:
- Fly a Kite. Is it a good day for kite flying? There's enough wind when you can see tree branches swaying back and forth. A flag swaying on a flagpole will show you the direction of the wind.
- Start an impromptu game of Simon Says, Red Rover, or even Duck, Duck, Goose with all the kids at the playground.
- Have a Teddy Bear Picnic! Invite your favorite fuzzy friends to sit on a blanket and enjoy a bite to eat on a pretty day.
- Play Cloud-Calling! Take turns yelling out the shapes you see in the clouds. Is that one a lion? A unicorn? A hammer?
- Make an obstacle course race at the playground, with trips down the slide, three loops around the biggest play structure, and a balancing contest on the walkway.
- Bring along a soccer ball, or football or a plastic Wiffle ball and bat so you can start a pickup ball game. The kids can divide into teams and set up some basic rules. The great thing about pickup games is that the teams can be any size, so kids who want to play after the game starts can join in.
- Play King or Queen of the Hill. One kid is the King or Queen and stands on the hill. Everyone else tries to get the Queen or King off the hill.
- Draw with chalk. Kids can express themselves and leave their mark—and it gets cleaned up and washed away by the next rain.
- Teach the kids to play Devil Sticks. Kids hold a stick in each hand and use them to juggle a third stick back and forth. Find three similarly sized sticks and try your hand at it.
- Blow bubbles! Whip up some homemade bubbles and take them to the playground! Mix 1/2 cup of dish-washing liquid (Joy and Dawn brands seem to work best) with 1 1/2 cups of water. Add two tablespoons of light corn syrup or glycerin (which you can get at the drugstore), or add two teaspoons of sugar. Use leftover wands from store-bought bubbles, or make your own from pipe cleaners, wire, hangers or even string.