The playground can be a minefield, especially in this new pandemic world in which we find ourselves. As Montessori parents, we want our children to play independently as we observe rather than hover; giving our children the chance to figure things out for themselves but also ready to step in when needed.
The best way to ensure a safe, fun and respectful play time is to decide some general playground rules beforehand, and discuss them with your little one. Here are some ideas:
- Should your child wear a mask?
- Do you have a sunscreen/hat rule before playtime?
- Can shoes be removed at any time (with/without permission)?
- Are there any areas of the playground that are off limits?
- Is your child allowed to climb up the slide when there is a child waiting to come down? Does this rule change if there are no children waiting to use the slide?
- Discuss the importance of turn taking and sharing equipment (swings, for example) so that everyone has a fair chance.
- Is your older child allowed to play on toddler equipment? Does this rule change if your older child is playing with a younger sibling on toddler equipment?
These are some basic examples of playground etiquette but what’s also good to remember is that the playground is a place to have conversation and find community. If you feel like it, chat with nearby parents and if there is a conflict that might arise, you’ll probably feel far more comfortable giving the children a chance to figure it out before intervening.
Mostly, mums and dads want to be sure that their children are safe and having fun – communicate with those around you as well as your child, and the playground will be a breeze.
Photo by Fabian Centeno on Unsplash