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The best parks for children are ones that are safe and fun. There are many parks of all different shapes and sizes spread across cities, towns and villages in America. Whether you live in a basement apartment in the heart of the city or a house in the suburbs, if you have children, it is worth your while to explore your neighborhood and the various parks nearby.

Parks are great for children of all ages. As soon as a child can walk they will enjoy exploring the various things offered at a park, from the sand on the floor to the swings and slides. Parks allow your children to unleash some of that child-energy and can also give Mom and Dad a bit of a break. While you always need to supervise your children, if they are older they may be happy to play freely on their own while you sit on a bench nearby and relax.

Types of Parks for Children

Most parks have either grass, sand or another soft material as their underlay and will include a wide variety of play things including slides and swings, teeter-totters, rope swings, mazes, merry-go-rounds and water activities. Some parks come with musical toys as well as additional activities. Many parks are now equipped with all-ability resources for children with special needs.

Water parks are also excellent for children, especially during the summer where they can cool off and learn how water works in the process. Many water parks and very large parks will charge an entry fee to come in but most children under the age of 3 will get in for free. You can bring your own food and make a day out of it. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Another great thing about parks is that they are usually in the middle of a beautiful natural part of town. There is usually a pathway where you can walk and check out the trees, animals, lakes and gardens in the park. Take a stroll around the park grounds after the kids have their play. Look for birds and other animals; enjoy the barbeque facilities; or simply walk around enjoy the sights, sounds and each others’ company. Many parks also allow you to bring your dog so include your pet on the family adventure; bring a leash and a doggy bag just in case.

Park Safety

Look for parks that are gated and come with a shade cloth. Gated parks allow your children to run freely without the fear that they will escape if you turn your back for one minute. It is especially important to play at a gated park if you are located in the center of town where there is traffic on either side of the park.

A shade cloth is a large material shaped like a sail that encloses the park and keeps the sun from getting to the children. While you still need to put on sunscreen and a sunhat, your children will not be directly in the line of fire when playing at a park with a shade cloth (or shade sail).

When you are checking out the best parks for children, make sure you bring along plenty of water, sunscreen, sun clothes and a snack just in case they get hungry along the way. Bring their bicycles or a stroller and pack a picnic lunch and blanket to make a family day of it. Everyone in the household will enjoy the many activities at a park, especially Mom and Dad who can sit back and enjoy a much deserved break.

Learning Center