Gain Confidence at the Playground

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This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.

As a family of four living in South Florida, we spend a lot of time outdoors year-round. One of our favorite things to do is to find new playgrounds. Richard and I can enjoy the outdoors and talk while the kids can spend time together and with friends. This is something we often do on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon until the sun goes down. But beyond just having fun, there are so many things children learn while enjoying free play at a nearby park. We headed up to Village Park in Wellington to check out a new park this past weekend. The playground area, built with Landscape Structures, was set under large shaded trees and had several separate areas for play. If you’d like to find a new park in your area, use this Landscape Structures locator.

Here are just a few of the ways children can gain confidence at the playground!

The Confidence to be Silly

After kids spend all week at school, on their best behavior, sitting quietly at desks completing assignments, they need some time to get silly! The playground is a wonderful place for kids to cut loose and be playful. My daughter Lydia and her friend Liora spent hours laughing together at the playground. Every so often, Bryce joined them as they went down the slide together, chased each other around, and posed for silly photos.

The Confidence to Be Brave

Lydia tends to be a bit of a daredevil, but like me, Bryce is less likely to take risks. The playground is a great place to reach new heights and explore in a safe environment. Lydia proudly climbed to the top of these rock-like structures while Bryce climbed up and down a curved ladder. Lydia looked very steady the whole way up and down, but Bryce definitely looked uncertain climbing the ladder. I was certain to praise them both for being so brave at the playground!

The Confidence to Play Solo

Sometimes kids need their own space, especially if they are in crowded or busy spaces, like a playground can get on the weekend. While the girls were playing together, Bryce took a few moments to play by himself. He liked this spinning seat that he could do solo. When he was ready, he rejoined the group, and when he needed more alone time, he played by himself. Even Lydia took a few minutes here and there to try out some new playground equipment by herself. A playground is a great place for playing alone or with friends.

The Confidence to Embrace Friendship

When my children were really little, we were part of a huge natural-parenting play group. Over the years, as the kids began school, we lost touch with most of our casual friends, but we maintained a few close friendships. We live a little distance from each other, so our play dates are a wonderful opportunity to reconnect {as parents and children} with the friends we made several years back. Even if the kids go many weeks or even months without seeing their old friends, they instantly reconnect on our park play dates.

The Confidence to Ask for Help

As I explained above, Bryce is not always the most confident child when it comes to his physical strength and taking risks, but he has learned to ask for help when he needs it. When he felt a little unsteady on these pretend tree stumps, he asked Lydia to hold hands and help him up. Learning to ask for help is such an important skill, and I’m glad that he knows to ask his family members for assistance when he needs it.

The Confidence to Try New Things

Every playground has different equipment. This playground had this mini rock-climbing wall that Lydia tried. It was a bit of a challenge to pull herself up, but a little determination, and she got it! Building gross motor skills in young children is so important, and it’s fun when it’s in a relaxed, engaging environment, like a playground. When Bryce was really little, he would always slide down laying on his back or belly because he was afraid he’d fall forward if he sat upright, but over time, he gained the confidence to try sliding a new way, and now he loves it!

Landscape Structures partnered with University of Minnesota’s Institute of Childhood Development to research how play helps develop the whole child. They explored how play creates leaders, encourages collaboration, and teaches the value of persistence and problem-solving. Playgrounds are the perfect place to build valuable social relationships and practice teamwork, and Landscape Structures’ playgrounds benefit people of all ages and abilities!

Check out the For a Better Tomorrow, We Play Today video below!

 

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia (age 7) and Bryce (age 5). Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.
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