Playgrounds are a great place for kids to let off a bit of steam, especially when school’s out for the summer. However, it’s important for both kids and adults to be respectful of others while they use the playground. 

At Southern Management, many of our communities have playgrounds on-site or nearby. We encourage all visitors to follow playground rules to create a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone. Here’s what you need to know about basic playground etiquette for kids and grown-ups. 

What is Playground Etiquette?

Playground etiquette is the concept that both kids and adults should be mindful of others while visiting the playground. Etiquette rules define how to play on the playground safely and politely. Etiquette is essential in this situation because the playground is a communal space. Each child plays differently and each adult has their own boundaries, which is why basic playground etiquette goes a long way to ensuring everyone’s comfort during playtime. 

Playground Etiquette for Parents

Playgrounds offer fun and easy activities to do with kids. They give children a chance to run around while adults relax outside. A parent or designated adult is responsible for supervising their children while on the playground as well as helping children understand basic playground etiquette. Here are some simple things grown-ups can do to make playground trips fun for everyone. 

Know what each child can handle

A very energetic child might need a different play environment than a more relaxed child. Plus, needs change with age. You may need to move to a larger or more challenging playground as kids get older, while younger children probably need simple playgrounds that are less overwhelming. 

Know each child’s personality

Every child is different, so it’s important to think about what’s most appropriate for their physical and mental development before you go. For example, don’t force an introverted child to socialize if they’re not ready. In this case, find opportunities for solo play. If your child isn’t particularly strong or daring, stick to parts of the playground that aren’t too scary. 

Let children figure things out themselves

While it’s important to supervise children on the playground, it’s also important that they have space to play. The playground is a good place for children to learn problem-solving and social skills on their own. Give kids some room to navigate issues as they arise, and only step in if things escalate. 

Expect kids to get hurt (a little)

It’s normal for kids to fall over or even skin their knees as they learn how to play. While you might feel concerned, overreacting has the potential to make children feel worse. Unless it’s an emergency, wait for the little one to come to you—but be ready with some Band-Aids just in case!

Talk to the other parents

Introducing yourself to other adults at the playground can create a more comfortable and friendly environment. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to check in about play preferences before any issues arise. 

Keep snacks to yourself

While sharing may seem like a kind thing to do, you never know which kids have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Saving your snacks for your own kids is the safest way to go.

Try not to parent other kids

It can be tempting to set rules or give advice to the other children on the playground, but try to refrain from doing so. Everyone handles things differently, and you probably wouldn’t want other adults encroaching on your authority, either. 

Playground Rules for Children

Children also have some responsibility when visiting the playground. In fact, this is a great way for them to learn basic etiquette at a young age. Review these rules with children before heading to the playground. 

Expect to share toys

Kids are curious and will want to try new toys they encounter on the playground. Make sure children are prepared to share any toys they bring and leave any toys they don’t want to share at home. 

Be mindful of others

The playground is a public space, so make sure to share it with others. If someone else wants a turn on the swings, for example, switch to the slide for a bit to give them the opportunity to use it. This is also a good time to talk to children about personal space. Teach them to ask before hugging or touching someone else. 

Say please

Instead of just taking something from another child, make sure to ask politely. Not only does this help prevent conflict, but it can set the stage for a friendship with other kids. 

Find Fun-Filled Apartments With Southern Management 

At Southern Management, we’re proud to manage some of the best apartment communities in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Many of our properties offer fun outdoor amenities like playgrounds to create a comfortable atmosphere for everyone. Contact us to learn more about our communities—we can’t wait to welcome you home!