My family had a fun day today. Part of our Easter celebration included meeting up with the boys’ grandparents at a playground for some outdoor fun before we went out to dinner. We all had a lot of fun, and while we were there I realized that we were all sharing the experience of Blake’s first “real” playground experience. It was by no means the first time he has been to a playground. In fact, we probably went to a playground two or three times a week from the time that he was about a month old until the time that he was seven months old and the cold weather and snow brought us indoors for the winter.
The thing that made Blake’s trip to the playground today different from all of his previous playground ventures is that he spent time on the ground exploring his surroundings. When he was younger, he did a lot of observation from above ground level as I wore him in a front carrier and we watched his older brother play. I am sure that Blake learned a lot from his observations, but he seemed quite pleased to be able to explore things a little more closely.
Sometimes it might not look like your toddler is doing much. He may be sitting on the ground, touching various items and looking around. He may not say much, but he is having a very enriching experience. As toddlers use their hands, feet, eyes, ears, noses, and mouths to collect information about the world around them, their understanding of the world grows. Even in a simple setting like a playground, there is so much for a toddler to see and experience. Your toddlers sees and experiences the land where the playground is as well as the surrounding area, the play equipment, other children, adults, dogs and other animals, the weather, and more.
I have no idea exactly what Blake thought as he explored the playground for the first time today. All I know is that he was happy while he was exploring it. I am happy that I was able to experience that with him, and that he was able to share that fun experience with his grandparents.