As a kid, I was fortunate enough to run wild in the countryside. Fields were my playgrounds and I considered time spent inside on a sunny day to be time wasted.
Unlike my rural upbringing, my two daughters are growing up in a suburban environment. For them, parks are where they get to go wild.
Some of my favourite memories of spending time with the kids come from time spent in parks. One such event was when Izzy, our youngest daughter, first tackled a scramble net when she was two years old.
I decided to play a joke on my wife and took a photograph of Izzy from underneath. It looked like she was very high off the ground, but it can’t have been much more than 30 centimeters.
When I showed the picture to my wife, she was speechless. She thought I’d let our youngest climb to the top of a large scramble net!
Used to my pranks, she quickly calmed down when I explained what was really in that picture. Even so, rare indeed is the scramble net that Izzy hasn’t tried to climb over!
When I do the school run in the afternoon, I always try and take the kids to a park after school for at least an hour in the summer months. It’s important to let them play outside and it saves the house getting trashed. They burn off energy and this is healthy.
As Izzy is nearing her fourth birthday, she is old enough to walk and play independently in the parks. It wasn’t always this way. I’d often have to take her in a buggy and leave her strapped in while her older sister had all the fun. If you are spending time outside and visiting parks with young children, you need a good buggy. Mamas & Papas has a good range.
With London on our doorstep, we occasionally visit parks in the city also. I have very fond memories of taking my daughter to an event in North London one winter morning last year. To get there we had to walk across Regent’s Park. It was a crisp, clear morning but it was great to spend one on one time with each other, talking nonsense!
Another time, my sister and nephew were visiting from New York City, where they live. I think it was April or May and the weather was unseasonably hot. We took a stroll through St Jame’s Park wearing linens and sunglasses and had the most amazing time.
For those lucky enough to live near London or visiting London over the summer months, Mamas & Papas has put together a great interactive map of London parks. It’s a really useful guide that shows where they are, what family attractions are there, what transport links exist to each park, whether you can get food there and so on.
It’s a really useful reference guide and well worth using. You’ll find the interactive map here.
What memories do you have of visiting parks with your children? Where do you go? What do your kids most like about parks? Please leave a comment below!
Disclosure; This post was produced in association with Mamas & Papas.