Are there playground rules?

As a first time Mum of one, I am learning things all the time. As the sun has finally come out and Thomas can sit up completely stable on his own now, we have started visiting our local park’s playground regularly to go on the swings. Apart from when I was a child, I have not been on a playground at all really and I have no idea what rules there are or if there are any at all.

By rules, I do not mean about dropping litter or things like that. The rules I am referring to is how do you know when it is your turn to go on the equipment or can you stop a child from going on something if they have been on it for ages, just to let your child have a quick go on the slide for example?

The reason I am asking these questions is because, a few weeks ago, we went to a busy local park and waited in the queue to go on the swings. After a few minutes, a child got out of the swing so I went to get Thomas out of the pushchair and put him in the swing. In the 20 seconds, it took me to get him out, a Father and his 3 year old or so daughter ran across the playground and jumped in the swing. I just stood there and did not know what to do next. A Dad on the next swing noticed my plight and took his son out of the swing to let Thomas have a go. I had been standing there about 7 minutes by this point so was very happy Thomas finally got a go. The other dad and his daughter never looked up or said anything. They stayed on the swing for a few minutes and then ran back across the playground. No acknowledgement at all.

What should I have done? Should I have said something to the Father about taking Thomas’ turn or not? Are they any things I should know before I take Thomas to the playground again? Help and advice is appreciated. Thank you

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3 Responses to Are there playground rules?

  1. Definitely speak up! I’m an old hand at this, with three kids, the oldest is 11. The dad probably didn’t realise and the child was too young to know. The worst is if an unsupervised child is on the swings without a parent to notice the queue. I then talk really loudly to try and prick the child’s conscience ‘Yes, I know that little boy’s been on for ages, but we’re just waiting our turn and I’m sure he will get off soon’. Give it a go!

  2. I find playground rules difficult too. I put my youngest on a swing a few days ago and he’d only been on there a minute when a young girl started glaring at me and saying that she wanted to go on the swing. I said she’d have to wait her turn, expecting her mother to tell her to wait as she was standing right next to me, but she said nothing. How can you expect children to learn when their parents don’t teach them?

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