My two year old is a park fanatic. On most days she asks several times a day if we can go to the park. This is matched only by the number of times a day she asks if she can watch something on the iPad. She has been particularly park obsessed for the past week since her older sisters have been away handing out with my mum at Nanny Camp. Those two are so busy they only call periodically to say good night. The other day I was off work for the day and my partner was at work so I decided my daughter and I would have a play day with daddy. I thought she might be up for a day of park-hopping.
The Wading Pool
Our first stop was to meet some friends at a nearby park with a wading pool. Unfortunately the pool wasn't open yet and there were loads of day-camp kids playing on the playstructure. My daughter was a little overwhelmed by all the kids swarming the structure so she held back and watched. We found an alternate activity and made use of the empty pool. There was no one else in it and she had a blast running back and forth in her own space.
Fortunately the camp kids cleared off the playstructure for a while and we were able to do some bar-hopping. The first one she tried was too low and she is now too tall for it. The second one was just right. She takes after her sister (and not her father) in the upper body strength department and loves swinging on the bars. This one was the perfect height for her.
After the pool running and bar-swinging it was time to move on to another park. We moved on to the park that is her current favourite. She calls it the piano park - or more accurately 'planano' park. It has a xylophone-like play station, which she barely ever uses. I think the thing she likes the most about this park is the sheer number of climbing opportunities.
She showed off her skills by climbing up this climbing wall, which I had not seen her do before. She was very fast climbing up and would then run down the stairs and back up the climbing wall.
Crossing the Bridge
I think she may have enjoyed running across this bridge almost as much as she liked climbing. Every time she climber up, she'd race across the bridge and down the stairs.
Climbing the Pole
When I was a kid, most playgrounds had fire poles that we could use to close down. It is a rare playground with a fire pole these days. Based on my own experiences of falling off the poles and landing at the bottom unconscious, maybe it isn't such a bad thing that they are gone. Many have been replaced with these pole ladders. My daughter wanted help climbing up. The first time she went up I stood behind her to offer climbing tips. Now she is unstoppable.
Recharging Our Batteries
any good play day requires occasional pauses to replenish our energy. On this particular leg of the journey we went with Goldfish. We finished off the container and biked home for lunch before moving on to our third stop for the day.
After lunch we went to the park that is practically behind our house. As per usual my daughter heading straight for the bouncy motorcycle. I think she was worn out from our morning adventures because after a brief ride on the motorcycle and a short stint on the swings she decided she was done with all the equipment.
Then we went exploring in the park. Sadly we have recently lost nine of the twelve big poplar trees in our park. They had mostly or completely died off so the city has been in the park for the past month cutting them down. So we explored the new stumps around the perimeter of the park. We compared them, jumped on and off of them and pretended to be trees. They might not be trees anymore, but at least they are still part of our park experience.
I was sure that three parks in one day would wear my daughter out and that for the next day at least there would be no requests for a trip to the park. I was wrong. She has asked every day since.
It was a challenge for me to remain in the moment and focus on just having a good time with her instead of thinking about all of the other things I could be doing. We had a great time and will probably fit a few more park-hopping days into the rest of the summer. Next time we might even take one or two of her sisters.