Playground Etiquette

Several Sunday evenings during the summer, the Hubs, offspring, and I would walk (off their dinner and my Klondike bars) around the neighborhood. Bug would ride his bike and Hubs and I would take turns pushing Bean in her stroller as she greeted every person and dog we passed. We would walk until the trail dead-ended in a cul-de-sac, then turn around and head back, stopping at the neighborhood playground.

There are a few rules of the playground that every kid knows. (Observes? Ehh…debatable.)

Wait your turn. Don’t go up the slide when someone is coming down. Don’t pee on the swings. You know, stuff like that.

As a grown-up who just can’t resist those primary-colored structures, I’m here to offer a few rules anyone over the age of 11 should observe if you plan on partaking on the fun.

Don’t wear flip-flops. Especially if the playground area is filled with pebbles, gravel, wood chips, or other small, pointy items. If you do, you will lose every game of Tag. Every game. And there’s a poignant shame in being actually unable to outrun a three-year-old. I mean, they just learned to walk on those things, and now they can chase you down? Shame.

Don’t slide down the fireman pole if you’re wearing shorts. Skid marks on your inner thighs might beat cellulite, but they still aren’t pretty.

Don’t hog the swings. It may be the only area of the playground where your adult-sized body is guaranteed to fit, but the kids moping under the slide will definitely tell their parents, who are probably on your HOA’s Board of Directors.

Don’t steal your 7-year-old’s bike while he’s busy climbing the monkey bars, then ride off laughing maniacally while he chases you with his helmet on (safety first, kids). It seems like a funny idea, but your knees will take a beating. Especially if you insist on riding it until he catches you.

Don’t be afraid to be a kid again.

Raise your hands if you miss recess!

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Playground Etiquette

  1. I’m loving the last one: don’t be afraid to be a kid. So true!!

  2. Don’t ever make a comment like “What’s wrong with THAT kid?” because there might be something wrong with that kid.

    Not that I ever did anything like that. Once.

    I think I still do recess. Does doing back flips on my neighbors’ lawn count? What if I land on my head?

    Not that I did. Once. Okay, twice.

  3. Oh, I like that photo very much!
    (You were just distracting me so you could steal my bike, weren’t you?!)

  4. Wait a minute. You’re not supposed to pee on the swings?

    What about the slide?

    Awwwww. Come ON!

    p.s. I miss recess. A lot.

  5. You make me laugh every time! This is very helpful, and you should see if your park will post these rules on a sign in the park… 🙂

  6. I bet you are super fun at the playground. Although it sounds like a contact sport the way you describe it.

  7. Love this post! I’m the mom who hogged the swing. I would gently encourage those moping children to play on that fire pole I couldn’t slide down in my shorts. 🙂 And so true about running in the flip flops. Thanks so much for all the sweet memories your post brings up. Mine are 13 and 15 now, and the playground just isn’t the same for them or me any more, but I do slip out of the house and go swing now and again.

  8. Loved recess. Hated PE.

    I think the sweating mid-school-day would throw off my attempts at trying to land a handhold from Benji Knight. Acne and frizzy hair do not a Homecoming date make.

  9. I miss recess.

    That’s why I run around the office tagging people.

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