9 Must-Haves for Your Playground Pack

9 Must-Haves For Your Playground Pack

When kids get antsy from being indoors all day at school or on a holiday break, opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy some physical activity are a must. Playgrounds are the perfect venue, changing the moods of cooped-up little ones from cranky to happy in no time at all. However, all too often, fun outings to the park are cut short when you realize you don’t have the right playground necessities.

Wet slides, potty emergencies, and scrapes and bruises can send you and your kids home early — unless you’ve packed a playground pack. Playground packs are survival kits that include everything you need for a successful playground adventure.

In case you’re wondering what to bring to the playground, here is our list of nine must-haves that will ensure your time at the playground goes off without a hitch.

1. Playground Backpack or Convenient Bag

Every playground pack begins with a bag where you store all your children’s park items. A backpack is a great option and much more convenient than your standard bulky diaper bag. You can easily wear it around the playground without it getting in the way when you have to chase down your rambunctious young ones. Make sure your bag has the pockets and compartments you need for a full day of fun at the park.

2. Water

Whether it’s a hot summer day or a cool autumn morning, water is essential to safe playground play. As your kids run around, the increased activity level can quickly lead to dehydration. Having a water bottle will encourage you and your child to drink more. Plus, it comes in handy for sticky hands, pesky sand, and scrapes that need rinsing. Pack several bottles that you can refill if there is a drinking fountain nearby. You may also want to bring sports drinks to replace your kids’ electrolytes.

3. Sunscreen

We all know to put sunscreen on our kiddos when the sun is beating down. However, even on those cloudy days, you should never set out for an outdoor adventure without it. Keep those sunburns at bay by lathering your child up. Also, pack a sunhat to keep the rays off your child’s head, especially if their hair is thin.

4. First Aid Kit

A small first aid kit can rescue your playday if your child falls or suffers a bump or scrape. Plus, many first aid items come in small travel sizes, making them easy to carry in your playground pack. Here are a few things you may want to include in your first aid kit:

  • Gloves so that your hands stay clean
  • Waterproof adhesive bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment or spray
  • Cold packs
  • Benadryl spray for bug bites or other itchy mishaps

5. Towel

Whether it rained last night or your playground is the victim of some thick morning dew, wet slides are a mess waiting to happen. A handy towel means you can wipe down playground equipment before your child gets a damp bottom. Towels can also be great for lying on the ground and cloud-watching.

6. Layers

Kids love to use playgrounds, whether it’s the middle of summer or deep winter. For the in-between months, bringing an extra sweatshirt to your playday can keep the fun going in case your child gets cold. You may also consider packing an additional pair of socks or underclothes so your child can change into something dry if they sit or step in a puddle. When kids get chilly, slipping into something warmer lets them play for longer and prevents fussiness from the cold.

7. Wipes or Hand Sanitizer

Baby wipes, moist towelettes, or hand sanitizer makes your time at the playground a little more hygienic. They’re perfect for those moments when your child decides to pick up something icky or you need to wipe them down before they get in your car with filthy hands. Wipes are also perfect for getting kids cleaned up before giving them a snack.

8. Snacks

No one wants to experience a temper tantrum brought on by hunger or have to cut a park trip short because your little one needs to eat. Packing your own snacks for the playground allows you to stay there as long as you like without your kids getting antsy or hungry. Bringing food from home also means you control the nutrition level of their snacks — which isn’t always the case if you make a pit stop for grub when you’re out and about.

Just be sure to teach your children to be very careful when sharing food, as another child could have allergies.

snacks

Just be sure to teach your children to be very careful when sharing food, as another child could have allergies.

9. Games and Sports Equipment

Even at the best playground, kids sometimes need a variety of activities to stay occupied. Keep your kids’ imaginations running by packing their favorite games or sports equipment on a trip to the playground. Footballs and soccer balls are great for playing catch or kicking back and forth. Flying disks are another favorite and can help kids improve their hand-eye coordination.

Your kids may enjoy other activities like blowing bubbles and creating art with sidewalk chalk. Kids can pop bubbles, make hopscotch grids and work on their blacktop masterpiece. Be sure to write your last name on any equipment you bring, including bubble bottles, so you can quickly find your belongings when it’s time to head home.

What Not to Bring to the Playground

Now that we’ve covered our bases on what items to bring to the playground for your kids, you should also be aware of certain items to avoid.

First of all, leave the electronics at home. Not only is there a good chance that your kids could potentially break their iPads and other gadgets on the playground, but it would also defeat the purpose of outdoor play for them to be focused on a screen. Encourage them to enjoy playing outside and bonding with other kids!

We also suggest leaving all your non-electronic at-home toys in your child’s toy chest. You’re going to the playground to enjoy the outdoors, so let your child enjoy the equipment that’s already there. Doing so will also help you avoid toy envy with other kids and the risk of leaving your child’s favorite plaything behind.

Also, make sure to leave dress-up clothes at home. Wearing the wrong attire can make play difficult, especially if kids are tripping over dresses or shoes that leave their little toes open to get stepped on. Plus, long superhero capes or ballerina tutus could become stuck in playground equipment and tear, resulting in upset kiddo. Make sure your children wear clothes that give them a full range of motion — and that will easily come clean in the wash when they get grass or dirt stains.

Finally, it’s usually best to confine detachable accessories like headbands, necklaces, bracelets, and clip-on earrings to your home. Items like these get lost easily, which is not how you want to end your day at the playground. On the other hand, if your child remembers to hand their accessories to you, it can be inconvenient to keep track of them while your little ones play. Keep a special place at home to leave accessories when you head out the door.

Plan Your Playground Adventure

At Little Tikes Commercial, we understand the power of the playground. Outdoor play is crucial for your child’s health and development. When you take the time to create opportunities for outdoor play, it has a positive impact on your whole family. Your playground pack makes it that much easier to say yes to the magic outside.

If you’d like to learn how our play structures can encourage your children to explore the world around them, we invite you to contact us for more information.