Making the Most of Your Next Visit to the Playground

With this warm winter weather we’re having, visits to the playground can be great fun for you and your child.  The playground is full of wonderful opportunities for language development and motor skills!    

  • Take advantage of the swings and slides!  After your baby outgrows the baby swing or johnny-jump-up, strong movement (vestibular) input is hard for her to get at home.
  • Talk about the actions your child is doing (swinging, jumping, etc).  Use action verbs to model words for your child.
  • Work on basic concepts such as “up, down, in, out, on, off, stop, go, etc.”
  • Swinging and sliding are great ways to work on requesting.  After your child swings or slides, encourage them to ask for “more.”
  • Swinging and sliding are also wonderful linear movement activities that can help children develop better coordination, balance, and position in space awareness, as well as have a great time!
  • If your child is leery of swinging, see if swinging in your lap is a more agreeable option.
  • Pushing someone else on a swing is also a great way for older kids to get sensory input, as long as there is close supervision and the push-ee is having fun.

Remember, always encourage but never force.  And watch for any signs of distress, such as sweating, skin color change, or that glazed look, and stop immediately.  Have fun and don’t forget the sunscreen!

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