Kids and playgrounds go together like peanut butter and jelly. Once a child knows they’re going to go somewhere special to play, it’s likely all they’ll talk about until they get there. While playgrounds might be fun for children, they don’t offer much to adults besides watching their kids.
Spending time with your children is great, but you may find yourself feeling bored at the playground after visiting quite a bit. They’re a necessity, though — active children tend to display more self-confidence and get better grades in the classroom. Aside from switching up which playground you go to, what are you supposed to do to beat the boredom?
1. Create a New Game
Children will go along with just about any game you come up with. They’ll be happy to interact with you and learn the rules of a new activity.
You don’t necessarily have to create the game, either. Maybe you could find a lesser-known activity online, or you could borrow a popular idea from another country. Doing the latter would expose your child to other cultures in a fun and exciting way.
2. Get Involved
If you find it difficult to pay attention without interacting with your child, why not get up there and play, too? Many pieces of playground equipment aren’t created with adults in mind, but you can still follow your child around and encourage them to climb, jump and slide. Doing so gets you involved and keeps you moving.
Show your child that you can still swing from monkey bars, even if you’re a grown-up. Simple aerobic exercise can improve your heart and lung function if done regularly. When you look at the benefits, there’s no reason you should abstain from playing alongside your children.
3. Support Multigenerational Play
By involving your parents in the playground experience, you can bring both grandparent and grandchild joy. Older adults may not be able to get out of their homes as often, so spending time with a younger family member can help them fight depression and all the side effects of potential isolation.
Having another adult there will help you focus, too. You can chat with your child’s grandparent and discuss everything from school to how your life is going. With another adult to chat with, you won’t feel as tempted to pull out your phone or another device while your children run all over the playground.
4. Meet Other Parents
If bringing your parents isn’t an option, you should try to socialize with other people your age. If you notice that another parent is there alone, you should reach out to them and ask to sit and talk with them. Chatting with others is a chance for networking — both for yourself and your child. You never know the value that having a conversation with someone new can give you.
The two of you may notice that your children became friends with one another and develop a friendship yourselves as a result. If this happens, you can set up playdates where the kids can play together and you can talk with your new friend. Bonding with other adults can inspire you to search for innovative ways to be more involved with your children.
5. Keep Distractions to a Minimum
If you know you have a distraction nearby, you may feel inclined to give into it during times of boredom.
Many people are addicted to their smartphones, even if they don’t think so, and senselessly scrolling on social media can take time away from your children. Feeling phantom phone notifications indicates phone addiction, and even if no messages await you, you’ll be more inclined to stay on your cell once you have it out.
During times of play, you should be fully present with your child. It will make your kids happy if you’re watching them when they climb something tall or jump a long distance. They’ll be delighted that their mom or dad saw their “huge” accomplishment firsthand.
Turn your phone off and hide it away, or at the very least, turn it on vibrate and put it in your bag or pocket. That way, you can still be available in case of an emergency. When you start to notice everything around you, you’ll be less bored. You’ll be too busy watching your child bravely explore the playground equipment and cheering for them when they conquer something.
Make the Playground Fun for Both of You
With distractions at your fingertips, it can be easy to give in to boredom instead of watching your child enjoy themself. You want to spend time with your kids, but keeping your attention on them can be challenging unless you’re engaged. Staying involved at the playground will offer a more rewarding experience for both you and your children.