We love going to the park! It’s a great way to break up our long monthly shopping trips, and to kill some time between appointments. The park is the perfect location for imagination building.
With just a bit of a story line, you can get your kids engaged in delightful creative play. While my youngest kids don’t really join in, my middles are the perfect age for this type of play. Here are five of my favorite scenarios to create at the park:
We imagine the biggest play structure is our pirate ship. If you aren’t on the ship, you’re swimming! Our mission is usually to find a place to bury our treasure.
So we send out explorer pirates one at a time to scout. When everyone has had a chance, we compare notes and pick a burying spot. We drop a lifeboat and row out to the location.
We pretend to bury our treasure, and then head back to the ship before resuming our voyage.
We’ve also turned the big play structures into spaceships. The outlying structures are distant planets. We take turns exploring, looking for planets we can land on.
As we run out to the planet, we have to avoid the asteroids (Owen loves to sit in the gravel and throw rocks up :D). Then we have to climb up the slide to make it back into the ship, because it properly decompresses us (or something like that!)
Jayme and I developed this one many years ago, and it’s still a favorite. The play structure turns into a time machine. We take turns pushing buttons and traveling to a historical time period.
If you aren’t on the structure when we take off, you’re lost in time and we have to search for you! It’s great motivation to get everyone on board.
Once we land, we pretend that we don’t know where we are. We set out to explore, trying to figure out what’s what and where in history we are. We’ve seen knights, dinosaurs, and more without ever leaving the park.
When it’s time to leave, we have to jump on board for one final flight, back to the future!
Store or Restaurant
Many of the parks we visit have a little area that’s perfect for a store counter. We use the rocks as money, and take turns being customer and store owner.
It’s a great way to practice customer service skills and manners while still having fun.
This one only works when there’s a steering wheel involved! One person is the driver, and gets to pick where we go. Once we arrive at our destination, it’s time to do something fun there.
We’ve taken a trip to a favorite restaurant, gone to the toy store, and visited Grandma. We’ll all get out of the car and stretch, and act out what we’d do at each location.
Then we pile back in the car and someone else gets to drive.
Do you play imagination building games at the park?
I’d love for you to share your ideas in the comments section below. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to play!