My kids and I have always loved finding new playgrounds to play on and explore. I was looking through all of my playground pictures and it occurred to me – maybe as homeschool moms you haven’t thought much about getting your kids onto playgrounds!
Unlike public-schooled peers, our kids don’t often get daily playground play. Even if you have your kids in school, time for recess is often so limited you might want to consider these reasons for playground play and make it a habit with your kids! So I wanted to give you some ideas about why playground play is awesome for your kids and awesome for you too!
Playground Play Happens in the Sunshine
Moms and kids both need to get regular exposure to the natural Vitamin D we get from sunshine. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t slather some skin-friendly sunscreen on before you head out, but getting your kids out into the sunshine and fresh air will improve all of your moods and your health.
Playground Play Helps Build Strong Bodies
Swinging from monkey bars, climbing ladders, running around the playground, stretching and twisting and swinging — these activities all work the muscles of our kids’ bodies and build up core strength and smaller muscle groups as well. These activities work different muscles than what kids will use running and biking and hiking and playing outside in general. Exercise also makes bones stronger! If you get on the play structures with your kids, you benefit too. But you might not want to. Because. . .
Playground Play Gives Moms a Break
It’s not a full break of course. You still have to oversee safe use of the equipment, break up squabbles, and help the littles as needed. But getting your kids onto the playground can also give you a much needed break from the monotony of home life, where squabbles always seem to escalate and someone always needs your attention. At the playground, they are likely to give you some space.
Exploring New Playgrounds is a Change of Pace
Finding a new playground to explore every couple of weeks gives your kids something fun to look forward to, a break from routine, and a time to explore uncharted territory. It’s a nice alternative to electronics!
Playground Play is a Great Way to Spend Time with Friends
Some of our most favorite play dates in memory are the ones where we met friends and played and had a picnic at a park. If you have friends that live about 45 minutes to an hour away, meeting somewhere in between is much easier! Kids can play happily while moms visit and catch up on each other’s lives.
Here’s how to make playground play work for a homeschooling lifestyle:
First, make a list of the public playgrounds in your area. Ask in your locally-based Facebook groups, homeschool co-ops, and church groups to find out the coolest playgrounds you might not know about. Research a little online to add to your list playgrounds up to 30 minutes away or so.
Next, plan to take playground breaks on certain afternoons – or if you are more like me – just wake up on particularly awesome weather days and decide that at some point that day you and your kids are leaving for the playground. I have to purpose to do this, but then I am pretty spontaneous about when it happens.
Don’t forget to talk to some friends and ask them if they want to have playground meet-ups or consider having weekly park days for your homeschool support groups!