Taking your kids to the park — no matter their age — can be a fun, if not a little bit daunting, overwhelming, and exhausting experience. When you're a new mom, however, whether it's your first baby or you have a couple of older kids in tow as well, you will most likely feel all these feelings even more so. But don't worry, mama, there are some playground hacks all new moms need to know that'll help make your experience at the playground a little smoother, a little happier, and a little safer, and be more relaxing than stressful.
From knowing which "rides" to avoid, to bringing plastic zip lock bags to protect your phone when it accidentally finds itself basking in the sand, there are some key playground hacks for new moms to follow to make the visit as painless as possible. Some of these hacks require you to plan ahead just a little bit so that you bring whatever you need with you to the playground. Others are things you can do or things you should know once you get there. From the kitchen to the laundry room, there are things that you probably already have in your house that'll make the trip to the park just about the easiest outing you'll undertake.
Don't forget that playing at the park should be fun, and that taking your kids there can be a good way to keep them entertained, let them get some energy out, make new friends, learn how to share, and so many other things. So don't head over there without a little preparation. Here are some helpful playground hacks that will make your time there even better.
1. Add Cinnamon To The Sandbox
Planning to play in the sandbox when you're at the park? You might want to bring a small container of ground cinnamon with you. According to Red Tricycle, sprinkling some ground cinnamon into the sand will keep bugs at bay. If you (or your kid) is a little scared of bugs or at least would rather they stay far away from you, this is an invaluable playground or backyard sandbox hack you need to know. At the very least, your sweet child will smell even sweeter when they come out.
2. Practice Your Pendulum Swings
No matter how bad your day is going, if you've mastered swinging your little one like a pendulum, things are going to be OK. This applies to the swings, of course, but it's also a great hack to master with the car seat — safely, of course. According to Baby List, swinging the baby seat back and forth is like creating your very own DIY playground.
3. Get Your Workout In
New moms are tired and busy. Oftentimes there's just no time for exercise. According to Lifehack, you can make your playground time work for you by doing your workout at the playground. Use the swings, stroller, slide, and benches to craft a workout that'll be a little bit fun and very effective without having to make any extra trips to other destinations over the course of your day. And it'll keep you busy while you're waiting for your little one to burn off all that extra energy.
4. Pack DIY Ice Packs
If you fill a sponge with water, stick it into a plastic baggie, and then throw it in the freezer, you'll have a DIY ice pack, ready to transport anywhere. According to the blog kelleysdiy, sponge ice packs work both for keeping your snacks or lunches cold and for helping heal any bumps or bruises sustained while playing, which you should expect to happen from time to time.
5. Put Your Phone In A Plastic Baggie
According to Chicago Parent, putting your phone in a plastic baggie is a good beach hack, but if your kids love the sandbox, it's a good one for the playground as well. It'll protect your device so that you don't end up with sand stuck in all the crevices and and find that you're cursing yourself when you try to unsuccessfully charge your phone or use earbuds.
6. Prep For The Swings
True playground VIPs have to be prepared if there aren't any bucket swings available when you get to the park. With the clip-on SwingEase, any swing adapts to a bucket swing that'll fit your little one so you don't have to worry if all the swings are made for bigger kids. Fair warning parents, not all playgrounds are equipped with bucket swings, so you'll end up using this weird contraption way more often than you might think.
7. Pack Dryer Sheets
If your little ones love the slide, you need to add dryer sheets to your diaper bag. According to the aforementioned Red Tricycle article, if your kid slides down a static-y slide with a dryer sheet, they won't get all static-y themselves, which is definitely the worst part of slides. Problem solved.
8. Skip The Slide
Speaking of slides, if your little one is too little for the slide, don't think that it's safe for your too-little kid to go down it while sitting on your lap. According to The New York Times, broken legs from kids sliding with their parents are fairly common. If they're not big enough to slide on their own, you're better off just skipping it. You might think that sliding with them is a good way to "hack" a playground they're too little for, but a trip to the emergency room just isn't worth it.
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