It is no surprise why children love taking their “mini vacation” to go to the park and play. It is an adventure to them, they get to be outside and of course there are generally swings and other fun things to explore. Then it happens; boredom strikes and grumpiness sets in. Just because they are tired of swinging and starting to whine does not mean you need to pack up everything and go back home. There are plenty of fun activities that you can do together during your visit here.
1. Scavenger Hunt – You can make this list before you leave for the park so when the children are tired of playing this list is ready. Your scavenger hunt list can be items that you can physically pick up and things that you just want to look for to see and check off the list. Leaves, a smooth rock and a nut from a tree can all be pick up type of items and then you can look for a squirrel, butterfly, robin, duck (depending on if your park has water), etc. If you have two adults going to the park then this could be quite a long list of small items you could carry in a bag from home and one adult could hide the items around the park while the other one watches the children. Then you get to explore the park looking for things together.
2. Soccer – Bringing along a ball, specifically a ball designed for toddlers is a great way to not only kill some time but wear them down! Chances are toddles aren’t kicking that ball too hard so special equipment is not necessary but you can make goal posts out of rocks or your jacket, picnic basket or whatever you have handy.
3. Kite flying – Even with the smallest amount of wind you can easily fly a kite an this is such a fun activity for toddlers. Kite’s can be purchased relatively inexpensive at stores, sometimes even for a $1 if you don’t need anything fancy and then you can spend some time putting your kites in the air.
4. Simon Says – Of course you can play Simon Says at home but you don’t have nearly enough room to “take 10 steps back” or “hop 6 jumps forward”. This is a favorite game by toddlers and the more steps and jumping they take, the better they will nap later.
5. Frisbee – Toddlers love playing with a Frisbee and if you’re at the park then you don’t have to worry about the Frisbee constantly going over the fence to the neighbor’s yard or hitting the tree in your small backyard. You can even set goal posts like soccer and try to get the Frisbee through the posts.
It is much more exciting for a toddler if you are playing games with them instead of watching them. It is a great time to bond and make memories and it also teaches them to be creative. If children learn that they can utilize things like rocks for a goal post, etc it enhances their creativity so they don’t always feel they have to rely on “things” to entertain them. Next time you go to the park, take along a ball or a kite. They are easy to stuff in your bag that you’re already carry snacks and a first aid kit in and play a few games with your toddler.