I heard from someone today who looks forward to our posts on ideas for things to do with kids. I appreciate hearing from you all! It’s good to know there are people reading this… and that we may be helping you, in some ways, have a better summer! Today, I thought I’d hit on something super easy (notice how much I love that word-easy) and something that you can do anytime… PARKS
I have a friend who, several years ago, began a weekly park play date over the summer. Parks… all over the Johnson County area, once a week, with friends (aka: moms who know how long summer can become with the kids home from school). I know what you’re wondering and the answer is, “yes,” my friend is sort of a genius.
Find out her park schedule here SUMMER PARK ADVENTURES for some ideas of some fun places to visit… or plan to join them! Her children are a bit older now but she’d love to have you. Tell her “Shelly” sent you!
Or check out this list of parks: Best Parks in Kansas City
And, while it seems like such a simple activity, there are a number of reasons why letting your children play at a park is important:
*studies show that children who spend time outside are less likely to have ADD or ADHD
*exercise is good for the soul and the body. Children who play outside are happier and healthier.
*learning to climb a rock, maneuver monkey bars, swing independently… all build self confidence and self esteem
*playing hard= better behaved kids later on. Kids need to do “heavy work,” work their muscles, test themselves and once again, research tells us that afterwards, they are better able to focus, listen, and sit still.
*playing is how children learn. When a child brings you a “nature” collection, they are learning about the world around them, discovering same/different, comparing items… all great math, science, and literacy skills.
*playing at parks usually involves other children. Children need to learn about how to get along with others, how to advocate for themselves, taking turns, etc.
I could probably name several more but you get the idea, right? I’d love to hear about your favorite parks! Where are they?