This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play
Wanna know what I miss most about my childhood? I miss waking up in the morning, watching cartoons while eating cereal and then meeting my friends at the park. I miss playing all day, climbing on the jungle gym, seeing who could swing the highest and then when the streetlights came on, heading home for dinner. Summer time when I was a kid was a blast and I am grateful that I have those memories.
I feel that my kids are missing out on all the great things about heading to the park to play that I had because they are more content playing video games or watching TV. I have tried many times to get them out of the house to play but my attempts were usually met with ughs, and do we have to’s! While I didn’t want to force them, thus making it a punishment of sorts, I did want to encourage them. It doesn’t help that we rarely ever see other kids at the park for them to play with, but maybe more kids will get interested the more often they go out and play.
Recently, for Lexi’s birthday, I came up with what turned out to be a great idea! The kids love The Hunger Games and I had just bought a bunch of Nerf guns and crossbows and it inspired my idea! I told the kids that I was sending them to the park to do their own version of The Hunger Games! Instead of the dreaded “We don’t wanna”, the idea was met with a lot of “woohoo’s”! I felt like super mom that day!
Now, my kids are not that close in age and the kids at the party ranged in ages from 4-16. Even though the little ones didn’t know what The Hunger Games was, they were thrilled to be playing with the big kids. The big kids, however, made me proud that day, because they each took a smaller kid under their wings and made sure they were treated fairly and protected them with their lives. Disclaimer, no children were hurt during this kill or be killed game! The best thing about sending them to the park is that the playground makes it perfect. They can seek safety under the bridge, hide in the tunnel slides or even orchestrate surprise attacks from the very top. And believe me, they did just that!
When they came home, tired, sweaty and with far less arrows than they left home with, they were laughing and asking when they could do it again. My simple answer was…whenever you want! While they haven’t played The Hunger Games since that day, they have played more at the park than they used to and they always go with a specific game in mind. We even introduced them to the Cloak and Dagger and more often than not, Lexi is always the bad guys!
After so many years of fighting with them, I guess I finally realized that the trick to getting the kids to the playground is by creating an adventure. I am so glad that the kids had the chance to play The Hunger Games and that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and now I can share this trick with everyone.
There are so many other activities that kids can do at the playground too and my mind is flooding with them as I write this. If your kid loves Dora the Explorer, you can come up with a mission for them, they need to climb the mountain (steps), cross the bridge, and swing on the vines (swings) to cross the ravine to get to Grandma’s house. Or a pirates quest for buried treasure can get kids excited about the playground too!
Since today is the first day of summer, we are heading down to the playground for a good ole’ fashioned scavenger hunt! I encourage all my readers to get out to the park more, play on the playground with your kids and have an adventure as well!
What is your favorite thing to do at the playground? Now or when you were a kid!