Teach Your Child Playground Etiquette With These Tips

Back to school means that children look forward to recess during their school day - they socialize, get outside, and make new friends. Before they head back to the books in a few weeks (or next week, depending on where you live) check out our tips for playground manners and etiquette for kids and adults to know!

playground rules guide

1. Snacks - If you're bringing them, make sure that you'll have enough to share. If your kid is eating a cracker on the playground, you might find that, like seagulls, food will attract other children. Make sure they have enough and teach them to share. Don't forget to ALWAYS check with the parent or guardian before giving it to the other children due to allergies and food restrictions.

2. Fights - leave them to the kids. If there is a dispute going on, try not to get involved unless it is absolutely necessary. Teaching children to hash out their own problems is a good way to go - unless a resolution is nowhere in sight.

3. The Slide - let them walk up to it. There's nothing bad that's going to happen. Just make sure the coast is clear up at the top before attempting.

4. Falling - unless it's serious, they can walk it off. Oftentimes if you ask them if they're okay after a trip, they'll act up more than if you didn't. Let them walk it off and if it's serious, then ask if they're okay.

5. Be Mindful - if you hop on a swing and a line forms, what do you do? what about if they get stuck on the monkey bars? Make sure they take their time to enjoy themselves, but not too much time. Let the other children have a turn, too! 

6. If You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go - if you're at a park and there are no unlocked bathrooms, and it's an emergency, what do you do? Bring a porta potty for your kid, rush them to the nearest one, or just let them go in the bushes (if it's a REAL emergency.) In this case, come with paper towels and maybe a change of clothes.

7. Hands - keep them to themselves. This classic playground law should go without saying, but if you need a reminder, watch your rambunctious children. 

8. Eyes on your child at all times - If you're a parent that's taking their child to the playground, you don't get to check out. Keep an eye on them gradually instead of zoning out so if something happens, you'll be there.

9. Age Appropriate Equipment - consult your equipment before using it. Some playground equipment is geared towards older children, while safety swings and crawl throughs are better for younger children. Make sure you take a look through all playground equipment before going on it.

10. Dress appropriately - make sure they're wearing sneakers but do away with hoodies with strings or other clothing that might become dangerous when on the playground.

11. Be wary of hot, cold, or wet equipment - Sometimes it's too dang hot, too cold, or too wet to go on, and that's okay. But if it is, refrain from going on the equipment due to the cause of injury.

12. If the playground entrance has a gate, close it - the last thing you need is to lose your child. If you're in a contained area, ensure all entrances are closed so this isn't even an option for them to wander.

13. Discipline - do it to your own child, not others. You are in charge of watching your own child, not others. Make sure they're behaving, and if someone else is bothering them, take them to another area or politely ask the child to stop. Do not give the other child any direction or discipline.

Did we miss something? Comment below with your favorite playground rule!

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