Welcome to issue three of Ramblings of a Playground Mum. This time around we ventured to a new playground we have been wanting to try for a little while. I spotted it last year as I was making my way home to Brown Hill, winding around the back streets, stretching out the drive while I had a sleeping newborn in the car.
While we were playing an elderly man and his granddaughter arrived. My little darling was being a true “three-nager” on this day and I had already had a car accident that morning so my threshold for a public tantrum was low. I grabbed out my phone ready to set the timer and called out to my daughter to come over to me as I also wanted to check out what was down the path further. Straight away the gentlemen said, “please don’t go, please stay”. I immediately felt terrible and explained to him I was writing playground reviews and we began to chat while the children played. He told me about another playground close by and his wife’s opinion of this one. While the girls played together we watched and helped them with the equipment and he said to me “Isn’t it amazing how kids just interact without any judgement or fear”. And he was right they do and often without hesitation.
This made me think about my own interaction with mother’s/ father’s/ carers that I have met since having children and just meeting new people in general. How do I communicate with people, what was it about my body language that made this lovely gentleman feel he needed to sadly request we stay in the same space as him and his granddaughter? In this growing age of technology mobile phones have made it easy to hide from awkward interactions with strangers in public. The simple “morning” greeting as you pass a stranger also out for a morning walk is becoming lost as people avert eye contact and use their mobiles to avoid. You meet a person, bond, exchange numbers and then communicate through written words via sms, messenger, facebook, Instagram dm’s and email (with much of this communication not being grammatically correct mind you). How often do you call friends, have a verbal conversation? Is the art of verbal communication becoming lost? When do we change from being the inclusive chattering child to anxious about sounding silly?
I must remember I’m my children’s biggest role model. It’s part of my role to teach them to communicate with people they don’t know, how body language is interpreted and how to interpret others. No matter how tired and over whelmed I may be feeling it’s imperative for their later relationships in life. I want to show them that simple acts of kindness towards a stranger or a call to a friend might be the thing that brightens their day and shouldn’t we all try to share some sunshine every day.
Location: Rampling Way, Nerrina
A great playground for those children becoming more confident with equipment like monkey bars, monkey rings, horizontal bars and balancing beams. The equipment is set lower to the ground so it’s easier for parents to assist and not as far to fall. It has a two different sized chain ladders allowing for different abilities a slide and a double swing. The little blue bouncy pelican was a big hit also. The feedback from the gentleman was that the playground needs an upgrade as there are some timbers that are rotting/broken on the walk bridge so be aware of these when you play.
The playground is set back off the road surrounded with a lovely garden with a large tree providing ample shade. There are two park benches located in the playground. The one located down the little path provides a cleared tan bark area where a picnic blanket could be rolled out for morning tea or a great place for the kids and their toy trucks to play.
There are no BBQ or toilet facilities at this playground but again there is a large tree and some bushes that could be utilised for toileting emergencies.
Car parking is on the street and is directly in front of the playground
BYO coffee and snacks as there are no shops nearby.
Imogen’s favourite part: Her short mummy could lift her up to the monkey bars.
Kristie’s tip: This is a great playground for toddlers and pre-schoolers. I will be taking the children back there as it is one I can safely let Imogen explore her abilities while also allowing Ollie to develop his confidence in a playground setting.
Happy exploring x