The park is a wonderful place for children to play, explore and grow language skills at the same time. At the park grandkids can learn and practice physical and social skills as they play with you or other children. They can also “do science” as they explore nature. If the park has a playground, children can also explore science as they slide, swing, and balance.
Here are a few tips you can use the next time you and your grandkids are at the park. Find more at PBS Parents.
Playing with balls: Babies can practice large motor skills and early language skills while you roll balls back and forward with them. Talk with your grandchild as you play, using a variety of words and phrases; “Here comes the ball! Can you catch the ball? Roll the ball back to grandma!”
Swing High, Swing Low. Encourage your preschool-aged grandchild to use all of the playground equipment. You can introduce a lot of vocabulary that describes movement and location. For example, when your grandchild is on the swing, you can say “High, high, fly to the sky!” each time you push her. As she comes down, you can say “Down, down, swing to the ground!” When she is finished, talk about how it felt and use interesting words. “You were flying like a bird! How did it feel to soar?”
Who Lives in a Tree? The park is a good place for elementary aged grandchildren to learn about how plants and animals help each other. Look with your grandchild for evidence that animals live in the trees at the park. Maybe animals use the trees for food or shade. Look for birds flying near the trees. See if you can find any nests. Look for animals like squirrels or chipmunks. “Why do you think they like the trees?” Tell your child that it will be fun to learn more about trees. “We can look for a book about trees at the library or the bookstore.”
Take advantage of your next day outdoors with these ideas and activities:
More PBS KIDS® resources
How well do you get along with your grandchild and other family members? Want to know if your personalities mesh?Find out here.