Taking toddlers to a new park can be a fun and exciting experience for both parents and children. However, it can also be a bit daunting as toddlers can be unpredictable and require constant attention. In this post, I will provide some tips and suggestions to make your next trip to a new park with your toddler as enjoyable as possible.
Before heading out to the new park, it's important to plan ahead. This can include researching the park online or doing a quick drive-by on a day when you have time to get a sense of what amenities it offers and what the layout is like. Doing some research beforehand can eliminate any surprises and you can make sure there are age appropriate play structures for your child. You’ll want to find out if there is a sandbox so you can pack your Sandbox & Shore bag with all your sand toys!
Pack the Essentials
Packing the right essentials is key when taking toddlers to a new park. Some items to consider bringing include:
Sunscreen: Even on cloudy days, it's important to protect your child's delicate skin from the sun's harmful rays. Make sure to apply sunscreen before leaving the house and bring extra with you to reapply throughout the day.
Snacks and water: For everyone! It won't be fun if you or your kiddos get hungry 5 mins into play time and you forgot snacks!
Extra clothes: Accidents can happen, and toddlers tend to get messy quickly. Bringing extra clothes can help avoid any potential meltdowns.
First-aid kit: A small first-aid kit with basic supplies such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers can come in handy in case of any minor injuries.I keep something like this in my Sandbox & Shore bag so when if i need it it’s already in our park bag.
Stroller or carrier: Depending on the park's layout and your child's age, a stroller or carrier can make it easier to navigate through the park and keep your child safe.
Explore the Park Together
Once you arrive at the park, take the time to explore it with your child. Let them lead the way and follow their interests. Encourage them to try new things and praise them for their efforts.
It's also important to be aware of any potential hazards in the park, such as steep drops, sharp edges, or broken equipment. Make sure to keep an eye on your child at all times and intervene if necessary to ensure their safety.
Interact with Other Children
Taking your toddler to a new park can be a great opportunity for them to interact with other children and develop their social skills. Encourage them to join in on group activities or play with other kids. You can also engage in conversation with other parents or caregivers to get to know the community better.
However, it's important to keep in mind that not all children may want to play or interact, and some may be shy or apprehensive. Respect their boundaries and don't force your child to interact if they're not comfortable.
End the Day on a Positive Note
As the day comes to a close, make sure to end it on a positive note. Oftentimes I will ask children “do you want to leave in 5 mins or 10 mins?” It gives them a sense of control.. If we do not have time for this I will give a 10 minute warning and then another at 5 minutes. This way leaving the park is not a complete surprise to them and they can wrap up whatever game they were playing.
Going to the park is one of my favorite activities to do with kids, to me it's easy, and they get to be outside and burn a lot of energy. I hope these tips help make your park trips easier and enjoyable.
Here is a list of my favorite parks that I have been to:
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: Hilltop park- 9748 Oviedo Way, San Diego, CA 92129
I love the big grassy areas for lots of running! There are two different playgrounds which is nice because one has smaller equipment for younger children. I also like that there is a rec center here with lots of community activities.
Check out the website for updates on current events:
LAS VEGAS,NEVADA: Paseos park-12122 Desert moon, Las Vegas, NV 89138
This park also has two play structure areas but both are within the same area. They have a splash pad and a great walking trail. I always enjoyed taking walks around Paseos Park. There is also a large grassy area often used for soccer and T-ball.
Since there is no community center here there is not a specific website dedicated to the park but here is the yelp page with lots of other reviews and more information about what the park ha to offer:
GILBERT, ARIZONA- Gilbert Regional park-3005 East Queen Creek, Gilbert, AZ,85248
This park has so much to offer! Pickleball, splash pad, a huge play structure and a great man made lake to walk around. They also have lots of community events held here.
Check out their calendar here