Wintertime is a magical season that’s filled with beautiful snow, nights curled up by the fireplace and the warmth of the holiday season. Unfortunately, all that cold weather can also discourage children from playing outside and getting a healthy dose of daily exercise tomukgum. Despite the snow and ice, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in the great outdoors on playgrounds.
Encourage kids to play outside with these 3 fun winter activities:
Build a Snow Fort: With a few shovels and a little imagination, children can easily transform a pile of snow next to playground equipment into an elaborate fortress complete with walls, windows, secret entrances and hidden pathways.
Snowball Fights: Having a snowball fight is another classic winter activity that kids are sure to love. Children can either have a free-for-all match or form up into teams. Just make sure the kids are playing safely and fairly with each other.
Create a Snowman: Your playground could become the site of a snowman (and snow woman!) village if you have the right supplies available. When it’s all complete, children can play on the slides while the snowmen look on from the side.
One great way to welcome Spring in your town or community is to dress up public parks and playgrounds. These communal areas are ideal for families to gather with friends and neighbors for an afternoon picnic or a session enjoying the playground. Of course, these local parks may need a little tender, love and care before they are fully ready for use.
Two ways communities can prepare public playgrounds for spring:
Check for Equipment Wear and Tear: Most playground equipment is designed to be strong and safe for years to come, but it never hurts to be cautious when dealing with something children use on a regular basis. As the snow and ice begins to melt away, one of the first things your town’s park and recreation department should focus on is inspecting the condition of local playgrounds. After several months of winter snow and inconsistent maintenance, it’s possible that a fair amount of weather damage could have occurred. The next step should be to start working on the park grounds. For starters, months of suffocating under heavy snow may have left the grassy lawns of the park brown, dead or in an unattractive state. You may want to inspect the quality of any wood chips, rubber padding, or other soft material around the playgrounds as well.
Incorporate Spring Elements: Consider planting a variety of colorful and beautiful flowers in garden patches around the space to create an inviting seasonal appeal. You may also want to add some new paint to any areas of the playground that may need a little extra color, such as park benches, water fountains, or shelters. When you feel that your playground equipment and park grounds are almost ready for public use, the last step is sprucing up the area for Spring!
Spending too much time outside in the Summer can be harmful for children. The sun’s powerful and harmful ultraviolet rays can cause skin damage and sunburn. That’s not to mention the harm that harsh, bright lights can cause to sensitive eyes. To make sure that kids in your community are protected against the sun while enjoying playground equipment, keep the following tips in mind.
Important tips for protecting kids from the sun:
Provide Plenty of Sun Block: One of the most important things parents, school administrators and community health officials can do for kids is encourage the use of sunscreen or sun block. After hours of direct sunlight exposure, UV rays can leave red, painful burns on delicate skin. Sun block with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher is usually proficient in shielding kids from burns and general skin damage. It’s also important for little ones to re-apply sunscreen regularly throughout the day for the best protection.
Take a Break in the Shade: Even with sun block, spending too much time in the hot sun can pose health dangers. For starters, even protection from sun block can deteriorate over time due to interference of sweat and even dirt. That’s not to mention the toll incredibly hot temperatures can take on the body. Because of this, kids should be sure to take occasional breaks in the shade to recuperate before heading back to play.
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