Any parent of multiple-aged kids knows that playgrounds must be chosen with care. Too simple and the kids will be bored in minutes. Too big and elaborate and you have trouble keeping track of them. Luckily there are plenty of great playgrounds in Maryland that have something for all ages and abilities.
As a mom of three, I’ve often found myself struggling at some of the bigger playgrounds. Seconds after arrival I’m frantically wondering, “Was that fleeting red shirt my fourth grader? How long has it been since I saw my preschooler?”
Not only do multiple ages need to be entertained and kept track of on the playground, but bathrooms need to be accessible and shade needs to be an option. Over the years, I’ve developed a database of trusty playgrounds in the Baltimore-Annapolis area. Some are safe anytime, while others are only visited during non-peak hours or when my husband can come along as back up.
Kat Savoy of Columbia knows just what to look for to keep her 3-year-old twins safe and entertained: fences and structures for differing interests.
“Some of the playgrounds for little kids are kind of boring,” says Savoy, who is co-president of Columbia Area Mothers of Multiples. Other playgrounds, like those with huge rock climbing walls, can be a bit daunting for the younger ages. But Savoy says she likes to challenge her twins to try new things at the playground.
“It stretches their abilities,” she says. “It’s good to expand their comfort level.”
Parents should be aware, however, that features for big kids may be dangerous for wandering tykes who could make their way to an opening with a steep drop. On the flip side, big kids can easily trample little ones while running around a smaller-sized tot lot.
When I’m with my kids, I accept that playgrounds are meant for a bit of boundary stretching and free-for-all fun, so I don’t sweat it too much if they play on structures not quite meant for their age. The playgrounds I tend to like the best, however, are those that offer a clear line of sight from one end to the other.
If you are looking to find a playground perfect for multiple-aged kids, check the selection below to help you decide what might work best for your family.
Click next below for 8 playgrounds for multiple ages