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Friday, March 14, 2014

The 5 Kids You Meet on the Playground

(CREDIT: phalinn (Flickr))

Who didn't love playing on the playground in their youth? There were so many great games to play and so many different children to interact with. Perhaps the best part about being out on the playground, especially during recess, was that we had a chance to get creative with our bountiful energy. Creativity is important, and when creativity and playtime unite, wonderful and exciting opportunities blossom! The playground is more than just a fun landscape: it is a mixing bowl of curiosity, innovation and fun! It brings out unique qualities in every child and encourages self-discovery.

Here are some of the children you likely met on the playground back when you were a kid. Maybe you'll think to yourself, "That was totally me!" Or perhaps you'll recognize these traits in your own children!

1. The Adventurer: The playground is a magical land of grand quests, adventures and heroism for this child. I think that we've all been the Adventurer, pretending that the ground is boiling hot lava and the slide is the tongue of a fire-breathing dragon. They leap from one platform to another to avoid falling into the depths of the fiery inferno. Or perhaps they are swashbuckling pirates and they are sailing through a sea of wood chips in search of treasure. There is never a dull moment for the Adventurer!

2. The Artist: This child will often be found deeply absorbed in the sandbox, ever the budding architect as they sculpt beauty into the chaotic mess of sand. If not there, this child could be found out on the pavement, spilling forth a colorful masterpiece with a medley of chalk and wonder. When I was younger, I loved drawing hopscotch boards with my friends. The flurry of dancing feet as we skipped across them is also an art form!

3. The Daredevil: Wild and crazy stunts by these fearless musketeers drive parents and teachers into a panic! This child might be found going down the slide head-first or trying to hang from their legs on the monkey bars. I think we've all dared to try this signature Daredevil stunt at least once: hop onto the swing, propel as high as possible and then launch into the sky! Keep a watchful eye on this spontaneous thrill-seeker.

4. The Leader: This child is a trend-setter and a go-getter, also known as the president of the playground. They bravely lead their entourage of followers through the land of playful opportunity. They keep the peace as they guide a line of taking turns down the slide. Not afraid to stand up to a bully, they inspire their peers to be true to themselves. Children will try to emulate this kid on the playground. We've all seen it!

5. The Ray of Sunshine: I always call my two girls "little rays of sunshine." The Ray of Sunshine is the child who just loves fresh air and fun times! It doesn't matter what activity or event is taking place - they're just glad to be there because they can enjoy the outdoors and let loose all of that dazzling energy! They've got spunk, charm and a contagious giggle that will brighten your day.

I think it's safe to say that we've all been one or more of these kids on the playground. As a child, were you more of an adventurer on the playground, weaving epic tales as you ducked through the "dragon's den"? Or were you more of a daredevil, making the playground into a circus of wild stunts that had the adults squealing in fear? What about your kiddos? The games that children play around the world might be different, but the adventurous, creative nature of kids is the same all over.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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