What the Playground Taught My Son

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Every weekend, we naturally dedicate quality time to be spent with our little one. Some days, we attempt to be more creative than usual with the activities that we engage him in, since a typical weekday for him is already routinary - toy cars, books, a movie or 2, biking/running around the house, and s'more toy cars. If we can help it & as long as the temperamental weather permits, we bring him outdoors to get him exposed to nature, too.

The minor challenge for us is, there aren't much options when it comes to locations where we can bring him to that would offer activities and present an environment suitable for his age & accessible to us (meaning it won't take us more than 2 hours of driving) that we don't spend too much time and effort on travel so we can use our energy to actually enjoy. So aside from taking him to various branches of the indoor play area, Gymboree, we've also brought him to UP, the La Mesa EcoPark, and most recently, a park in Brgy. Bel-Air (whoops! I'll get back to you on the name).

just up from his nap, dumbfounded seeing horses
in person for the first time @ La Mesa EcoPark

Having him out and about in these environments has helped him develop social skills that I think are fundamental as he encounters more complex situations in the future. While it is simply a joy watching him have fun with all the physical, I also cannot help but be proud that he has acquired decent social etiquette that are simple but will surely take him a long way later in life.

Take turns. Let's admit, even in the adult world this is becoming a rarity - falling in line when necessary, sticking to your lanes when driving, or just basically waiting for your turn - our little guy seems to have picked up that if someone else is sliding down or going through the tunnels first, he has to be patient and wait. Plus 10,000 points!

Be aware of your surroundings. I noticed that when younger toddlers are around or approaching, he gets extra cautious about jumping, running & flailing around. How's that for perceptiveness & consideration?

Standing up to bullies. There will always be that one other kid who has no concept of personal space and wants the whole play area to himself, to the point of being a push-over. I still have to wait until Joaquin is already at a more discerning age to understand that while it's generally good to share, one should also learn to stand up if you feel like you're niceness is being abused (and it will be, as we all know)

There are so many other things I look forward to having him learn - saying "excuse me", " sorry" - which might come at a later time as he has only begun to string words together; being wary of approaching strangers, and being okay with going home so he can "rest and play another day" - all of which I'm sure he will figure out in time. For now, I'm happy he's happy with good 'ol playground fun.

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