Everyday Early Intervention: At the Park

park with bench

Local parks are full of opportunities for young children to play, explore, and learn. Make sure you’re prepared with snacks, play clothes and sturdy shoes, wipes, bandages, sunscreen and bug spray, and other necessities. Here are some ideas for making the most of your time at the park.

Safety first

  • Supervise your children at all times.
  • Be aware of choking hazards and broken objects.
  • Choose age-appropriate playground equipment.

Have a scavenger hunt

  • Look for birds, puddles, squirrels, flowers, pine cones, butterflies, picnic tables, a climber, garbage cans, sticks, a bridge, an animal footprint, and more.
  • Talk about the colors and textures of what you see.

Listen for different sounds

  • Keep an ear out for chirping birds, honking horns, croaking frogs, playing kids, ringing chimes, blowing wind, squeaking swings, splashing or rushing water, crackling leaves, snapping twigs, and more.
  • Talk about the animal or object making those sounds.
  • Try to make the same sounds. Have your child repeat the sounds.

Smell and touch your surroundings

  • Touch the leaves, grass, rocks, tree bark, and more. Is it cold? Smooth? Wet? Soft?
  • Ask what else they feel. Do you feel the breeze on your skin? Your hair blowing in the wind?
  • Smell the air, leaves, flowers, pinecones, sticks. Do you like the smell?

Use those muscles

  • Fly like a bird, jump like a frog, slither like a snake, roll a ball, crawl in the grass.
  • Have your toddler practice walking on soft surfaces such as grass and sandboxes.
  • Challenge them. Can you fly backwards? Jump over a stick? Roll the ball down the hill?