My son Gordie played on a lot of playgrounds last year (33 of which I reviewed on my blog) but a few things stood out as being especially enjoyable for him. Below is a list of the things he liked the most when he was 15-18 months old. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the list of his favorite things changes at the end of this summer!
1. The giant ramp at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Playground.
It’s wide, long and a little bit steep. Gordie absolutely loved running up and down this ramp. It was the first thing he went to went we got to the playground and he went back again and again.
2. The wobbly bridge at North Haven Community Centre Playground.
Bridges of any kind were a hit with Gordie but wobbly bridges were by far the best. No matter how good a walker Gordie was, whether he needed me to hold both his hands or could walk over independently he loved testing his balance on a wobbly bridge again and again.
Gordie seemed to be having a great time at the top of this play structure but from the ground I couldn’t see why. When I went up to check it out it was obvious he was loving going up and down all the different levels. So far, we haven’t seen this feature at any other playground.
Although Gordie had fun at many of the little bus like play structures this one was probably his favorite. It has a few advantages over some of the others. First, it has a ramp that you can run up and down at the back. Second, it’s on springs so you can make it bounce up and down. Third it has two steering wheels so two kids can play side by side. Fourth we went to this playground with a little friend of his and they ran around playing peek-a-boo.
The one thing Gordie probably spent the most time doing at playgrounds last summer was climbing up and down stairs. As long as there were stairs on a preschool climber the playground was a winner.
Bouncers were another favorite of Gordie’s last summer. This one was a big hit because he could go on it with his friends and see them right up close. One time a little girl a couple years older than Gordie was bouncing on the other side. I almost thought he was going to fall off, but he just held on and had a great time.
(The picture above is actually from Saddlecrest Playground
but I didn’t get a good picture of the spinner from the North Haven playground.) I thought Gordie would be way to young to be able to enjoy this item but I put him on it any way just to see. At first I moved it back and forth really gently. Then I walked around it with him. He was hanging on so well that I pushed him away from me a little bit and said “Bye bye Mommy”. He laughed hysterically and I spent the next ten minutes spinning him around says “Bye bye Mommy” while he laughed and laughed.
Do you have a suggestion for a playground I should review this coming year? Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dana is a mom of a 1.5 year old boy. She spends her free time reviewing playgrounds and other play spaces over at Calgary Playgrounds Review.