When The Playground Isn’t Fun


Can you even image a child NOT having fun on the playground?! I sure can’t.

Well this is exactly my current issue to solve. With a new school, new schedule, new teacher and new environment, my daughter who normally adjusts well to any situation is having problems on the playground of all places! When we drop her off at school and specifically at the playground it ends with her running to us in tears.

I figure that our issues are never just our own so I have put together some creative ideas + tips to make the playground more welcoming for your little one.

  • Getting Social: Practice playground introductions with your kiddo at home. “Hi my name is Jill! What’s your name?” or “I like the slides best…do you want to slide with me?” or something along those lines.
  • Give Incentives: Maybe give your child a special item that is strictly for the playground. A special toy that they love and are only allowed to bring out once they arrive. Be sure to check your schools policy. Maybe a treat after school for a successful time at the playground.
  • Communication is Key: Talk with your child about what they can expect and find out what the root of the problem is so that you know how best to handle it. You can also try online resources or read books together.
  • Buddy System: If your child has a friend or you know another parent with a kiddo on the playground at the same time as yours try to pair them together. After all, even us adults don’t LOVE the idea of flying solo to social events/places.
  • Tell The Teacher: They are your best resource. I KNOW my daughter loves to be a helper. So to bring the teacher into the loop is a no brainer. We can work together to see if she can be a “Playground Monitor” or maybe she might be able to come into the classroom and be a little helper until she is more comfortable playing outside.

I’m confident that this will be a short phase for my daughter but I will be working through this list of tips until she is confident and happy at the playground. Are you experiencing the same problem? Have you tried something we didn’t cover? Please share in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.

Source: www.understood.org


  1. Great post, Rachel. I think all the kids are struggling with the new school year! It’s hard to get back into the groove of “playground politics”!


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