I mentioned that we have been spending a lot of time at parks lately. We have three neighborhood parks within easy walking distance and several other parks within bike riding distance. With all those parks right around us some might think it is crazy that we also seek out parks all over our city (and other cities!).
But I have my reasons!
1. New parks mean new playgrounds. Even though my girls are content (or would be) to play on the same playground day after day I do think it is good for them to get exposed to new challenges. Each playground has slightly different equipment, slightly different takes on the basics like stairs and slides. Watching the girls stretch their comfort zone, their muscles and their skills is a good thing.
2. New friends. Going to new parks always leads to meeting new families and new kids. Sam and Avery are both pretty outgoing kids and will quickly join in games or parallel play with other kids. Even if it is just a one time encounter (as is the case most of the time), playing with new kids and meeting new people is always a good thing.
3. Breaking up the errands. When we have errands that need to get done in different areas of the city I will keep my eyes open as we drive there, or even look up online before we go,for a new park that we can stop at. Outdoor play and trips to the park are great incentives to keep the girls well behaved while we get through the errands. And a great alternative to sweets, snacks or new toys that are often used as incentives.
4. New sights! But the best reason to seek out new parks is that they are often attached to great sights, green spaces or places to explore. You just never know what kind of natural areas you might stumble upon.
Our most recent new park revealed a lot of great sites!
We had a great adventure at a new park that included tons of outdoor play, exploring green spaces, seeing fish, ducks, muscrats, geese, turtles, herons and more, and breaking up a long morning of boring errands!
The Nitty Gritty!
Please know that I am not discounting the value of local, neighborhood parks. We visit the ones within walking distance almost daily. I think it is of the most importance that cities build and maintain great neighborhood parks. But for the reasons I mentioned above I think it is also important for parents to seek out new parks on occasion.