By Shari Goldstein, M.S. CCC Speech-Language Pathologist
1. Children can make choices at the playground. “Do you want to swing or slide?”
2. A horse swing or a see-saw allows children to face one another and engage in conversation. Eye contact can be established and maintained. Questions can be asked and responded to. It’s a great piece of equipment to help facilitate socialization. Face to face exchanges of thoughts can take place.
3. The slide allows the opportunity for children to take turns. The rules of the slide should be reviewed for safety. If it is safe, allow your child to walk up the slide to use core strength and slide down on their belly for tummy time. You can give your child the words to use “it's my turn” “do you want to go first?” 4. Some playgrounds are equipped with a fort at the top of the play structure or there may be a separate small structure on the playground. These can serve as a house, school, hospital, or a multitude of imaginary places. Here children can envision themselves in a variety of roles including Mommy daddy, doctor, and teacher. Their imagination can run wild. Children can take on the perspective of another. This is a great opportunity for children to initiate play in an unstructured setting.
5. The spider-web ropes, rock wall or rope ladder allow children to navigate their way up to the top. If they are with a friend or parent he/she can help the child by giving directions and encouragement. Words such as right, left, big. small, hand, foot, can be reinforced. This can help with body awareness in space and spatial concepts.