For a while, it seemed that we stopped going places to play. Maybe because we were watching TV or maybe with four kids, it was easier to stay home. Our scheduled became filled with school, after school activities, exercising or me just not wanting to go anywhere. When school started it worked out that one day became “Park Day”. With something happening most nights, bedtimes being crazy, and our needs just growing, they needed time to play.
On Park Day before picking up the girls from school, I pack a cooler or bag with juice and snacks. The snacks usually are something horribly unhealthy and full of sugar. We have a large supply of candy and junk food hanging around the house from various holidays and we don’t let them eat it very often.
When we get to the park, the kids get the first installment of candy. Yes, sometimes they get a second installment. They are very excited about this and will hang around me instead of playing until I hand it out.
Once candy has had a chance to surge through their systems and they have played for a good hour or two, we go home, do homework eat dinner and go to bed. It makes for a great night.
Park day is a great way for my kids to be kids. Some days they play with each other, some days with me and some days with other kids are who are at the park.
This past week, we went to the “fish” park. Every park has a kid friendly name to help them remember which park is which. Usually this is because of an identifying piece of playground equipment or something we do at the park. There is the tractor park, the mushroom park, the leaf park, the wooden park or the park where we go see the fishes to name a few.
We pass the “fish” park often on our way to other parks, but never stop. It is a park that is built for bigger kids and is not friendly for babies that crawl. Now that Casey is in the bigger kid category, we tried the “fish” park. The kids had a great time. When climbing on the equipment that was shaped like a fish, they discovered it looked like the inside of a fish. The three story slide was transformed into a castle. The trip even included a walk to the small boat ramp where the kids played with water and sticks.
Park day. Their new favorite day of the week.