Playing on the playground is many preschoolers’ favorite activities, and for good reason. They get to play freely outside with others and get out a lot of pent up energy. Before your child starts school, it’s a good idea to discuss with him the do’s and don’ts of playing on a playground with other children. This will ensure that he always has a fun time during recess without risking his safety or the safety of others around him.
No pushing or shoving
While your child may not be violent in nature, this doesn’t mean he can’t get excited or impatient when playing around other children. Remind your child he should never push others, especially if he does get frustrated or mad at another child. An easy way to teach this concept is to teach him to “keep his hands to himself.” This covers everything from pushing, hitting, taking/touching other people’s belongings, and so on. It is also helpful to provide children with positively phrased expressions of what you do expect. “No hitting!” tells a child what they should not do, while “keep your hands to yourself” tells him what he should do.
Always take turns
Much like the “don’t push” rule, taking turns is important not only for good behavior on the playground, but also safety. Staying organized and respectful avoids aggression and accidents.
Most playgrounds do not have toys or contraptions that allow for jumping, and many preschool injuries are caused by jumping or leaping off of objects that should not be jumped off of. If your child’s playground does have something that allows for jumping, like a trampoline perhaps, tell your child to obey the rules at all times.
Always remind your child to keep their shoes tied—if he doesn’t know how to tie his shoes, tell your child to always ask an adult to retie them as soon as he notices them becoming untied. Another good tip during the summer is to have your child take off his jacket or sweater before going outside to avoid overheating. The same goes for keeping a jacket on when playing outside in the winter. Scarves should be left inside to avoid choking unless otherwise approved of or in extremely cold climates.
Recess is one of the only times your child is allowed to run, and it’s good for him to exercise and get his energy out while he can. Merely remind him of where it’s appropriate to run and where he could get hurt. Places like soccer fields where a game is occurring or in front of the swings is not the place to run or play any other game.
What to do if he is hurt
Go over what to do if your child does get hurt. Remind him to ask for help. If he cannot get up and get a teacher’s help himself, tell him to ask a friend or nearby classmate to get a teacher.
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