Playgrounds are a great place for kids to improve gross motor skills, strength and confidence.There are lots of things you can have your child try when they are on the playground to provide different challenges. Often times, kids will gravitate to the areas of the playground that are easiest for them. Incorporating other playground equipment or ideas into their play is a great way to physically challenge them, bring awareness to other ways to use play structures and be a fun task for both of you!

5 Things to Try

  1. Balancing along the edge of the playground, often times there is a border to the play area you can walk along.
    Walk forwards/backwards/sideways
  1. Climbing down a ladder rather than going down a slide or fireman’s pole. Kids typically master climbing up, however have difficulty climbing down.
  2. Hanging from monkey bars if fully completing them is too challenging. Monkey bars are difficult! As a stepping stone to learning how to achieve the monkey bar goal you can assist your child in hanging from one of the bars and set a time goal, such as 5 seconds.
  3. Sideways up the stairs to challenge different muscles. Going up the stairs sideways is another way to get to where they want to go, AND you are strengthening different leg muscles! Make sure to try both directions.
  4.    Climbing up slides is a great way to target back, leg muscles and core! Make sure you get to the park early to try this one out, so you have the slide to yourself.

You can also try a more hands-off approach at the playground to allow your child to explore on their own limits. This can be a fun way for them to challenge themselves and experiment with different ways of play. We hope you have fun trying these out during your next park adventure!

Happy Playing!

Maegan Mak & Kate Heays