Wednesday, 1 May 2013

This Used To Be My Playground

This is the first spring that we've really been able to embrace park play areas and playgrounds with the minions.  Last spring they were barely crawling around the grass, eating whatever dirt or rocks they could get their little hands on.  This year they're running around like maniacs, so we're always looking for fun new places for them to wear off a little bit of energy.* 

There is a certain etiquette surrounding parental and child behaviour at the playground that Chris and I haven't quite mastered because we're novices at toddlerhood and all of its nuances.  I get that we have two kids and that we shouldn't Bogart the baby swings for too long, but there are other things that we're just learning.  This is why I have created the following list:

  1. Arm your children with cookies, comment that they're chocked full of peanuts, shellfish and gluten.  Be sure to encourage your kids to share said cookies with their new friends at the park.**
  2. Don't stop your child from dunking their cookies into the sand/gravel/ground before sharing. 
  3. After your child has shared their shrimp nut cookies with random children, call them over to you because it's time for their worm medicine.
  4. Take tons of pictures of your children while encouraging other children to pose with them.  This type of friendly stranger behaviour makes other parents comfortable and puts them at ease.  Talk about how you're going to post these photos on every social media site known to man.  Ask random stranger children their names so you can tag them in your posts using GPS features.
  5. You know that random militant two year old with the empty ice cream bucket?  The one who keeps filling it with sand, climbing to the top of the slide and then dumping it over and over again, all while intimidating the other kids at the park?  The kid whose mother is yelling at someone on her cell phone while filing her nails on the park bench?  Let your daughter steal his bucket.  It will be epic.  I promise.

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*I'm already working on a piece on toddler friendly, local playgrounds, so if you have any suggestions in the GTA let me know.
**Have you read this article about allergies in the playground?  The reader responses and comments are Redonkulous and amazing.


  1. Ha! Love this post, and love your blog! We have Liz Hawksworth in common, and she mentioned that you recognized me from high school! Your name change threw me, but I remember the surname Macginn from my misspent youth in Etobicoke - I think you have an older sister too, possibly named Erin?

    In any case, your kids are darling...and your parenting insights are right on the money.

    Cecile Farnum

  2. Thanks so much, I actually think you and I went to brownies or girl guides together, my older sister is Erika and was/is super athletic. Etobicoke is like a small town sometimes!

  3. Neshama Playground in Oriole Park near Davisville station is the best playground ever - google it.

  4. Oh and Sherwood Park has a really nice/big playground too, and the "forest" when kids need something different.