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Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Unspoken Guide to Playground Etiquette

(CREDIT: phalinn (Flickr))

IMG LINK: CREDIT: phalinn (Flickr)

Manners and etiquette are important in any walk of life, whether it's at the office, any sort of event, or a family gathering, for example. However, manners and etiquette also apply to the playground. That's right - even on the playground, there needs to be some order in place, and while some of these rules may be unspoken and unwritten, they still apply.

On the playground, you will come across children from all walks of life. There will be the adventurers, daredevils, leaders and artists. These unwritten rules apply to everyone, no matter how eager they are to let loose and play!

  1. Everyone Gets A Turn: As a parent, you may find yourself in the situation where you're pushing your child on the swing and soon enough, a line will form to use it. It's important to remember that everyone should get a turn. This doesn't necessarily mean to pull your child off of the swing immediately, but be considerate of others. This will also give you and your child the opportunity to explore what else the playground has to offer. Maybe you'll find one of my favorite childhood games, Funnel Ball.

  2. Put the Electronics Away: While your children are joyously at play may seem like great time to check your email and social networks, it's not really the most appropriate time to do so. Instead, keep an eye on your kids, but be careful not to verge on being a "helicopter" parent, which may stifle their creative energy. Plus, your attention will make them feel special, like superstars of the playground!

  3. Sharing Is Fine… With Permission: You might have brought snacks for your children to enjoy after a bout of rambunctious play. Imagine that another child is intrigued by your kid's snack and requests to have some. Naturally, you may be inclined to agree without hesitation, but think again. Ask that child's parent if it's alright! This is so essential because they could have allergies or diet restrictions that you are not aware of and the child cannot identify on their own just yet. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

  4. Never, Ever Litter: This rule may be explicitly posted on site, but I want to take a moment to drive this point home. The playground is a shrine of fun, fitness and creativity! Play has so much to offer children and adults alike! The last thing we want is for litter to dampen the joy of running free and playing hard. It is unsightly, unhygienic and just plain rude! There are almost always garbage cans available. Not only is leaving behind a clean environment the right thing to do, it will also set a great example for your children.

By playing outside, our kids can learn a lot of things. By playing smart, we can ensure every child gets to enjoy it. Are there any unspoken rules of playground etiquette that come to mind for you that didn't make it onto this list? If so, let us know!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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