This morning, when we got in the car to go to our neighborhood playground Doc Princess said, "Mommy, you have to take us to the new playground, okay? The brand new one I never seed before." (She's still working on past tense.) So, I acquiesced, and we tried this place:
The playground at Halloran park has been renovated recently. In fact, they're still adding sprinklers and reseeding, but already it seems like a popular place. When we were there, the parking lot was nearly full of minivans and SUVs bearing those vinyl stick figure families. Herds of toddlers and preschoolers were clambering over the equipment. The area has that soft, cork-y surface (I'm not sure what its called), which is good for Buster, who trips over his own legs all the time. There is a big slide off to one side of the playground. Somehow, my kids never noticed it, which was a relief for me because there's a big sign on the structure that reads "AGE 5+". Doc Princess uses the potty now, so as far as she's concerned she should be able to drive, start her doctorate, and become a fighter pilot. No one's going to tell her she can't use a big slide.
Age 5+? To my 3-year-old, that's a dare.
Halloran Park also features a carousel-type structure, something like what we had as kids but designed to be a lot safer. The designers made a bit of a blunder, however; the sun makes the black rubber floor scalding hot, like a griddle - great for cooking children. Whenever it's sunny this summer, the carousel will be pretty much unusable to any kid who can't cling to its exterior while it's spinning. And doesn't that sound super safe?
Child-cooker aside, this is a wonderful place to play. Again, the surface is fantastic, the structures are new, and the playground is within a grassy park, complete with paved paths for strollers and trikes. I know several other moms and dads who like to take their kids there.
I should also note, the timing of our trip was fortuitous. We happened to walk into the middle of a fun event - a STEAM StoryWalk. Carol Carver of the "Self Help Coordinated Family and Community Engagement" Program teamed up with the Stoughton Public Library for the walk. We were able to read a story, play with sensory tables, and complete a fun craft. We also received a hardcover children's book (about bugs!) once we finished the walk.
Digging in the dirt during our STEAM StoryWalk
Self Help facilitates a wide range of events and programs for families in Plymouth, Bristol, and Norfolk counties. As far as I can tell, all of them are free and open to the public (although some require pre-registration). I check out their calendar every so often, because - free, educational fun! Here's the website: http://selfhelpcpc.org/
I'll leave you with a glimpse at my favorite structure at the CAPP, a "bridge of death"!
"Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see."
"WHAT... is your name?!"
"WHAT... is your quest?!"
"WHAT... is your favourite colour?!"
Oh yes, we played that game.