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can't get 3 year old to play on playground!?

My son is nearly 3 and I can't get him to play on the playground. He says he wants to go, but when I bring him he just stares at everything and walks around aimlessly. I can barely get him to join me when I through the jungle gym to the slide. he will not go anywhere near the swings and when I put him on one ( even with me, on my lap) he panics. What do I do to help him be more confident and comfortable with the playground. I don't want him become inactive and sheepish.
I want him to be adventurous and enjoy the outdoors.

Answer Question

Asked by DIETITIANMAMA at 9:21 PM on Apr. 29, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (20 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Have you ever brought him to playgroups? Everything probably looks/seems so big to him, it's so big from his perspective! I thought playgroups might help him with it seeing other kids on. Are there other kids around while he plays on the equipment?

    Answer by mom23boys679 at 9:27 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • Yes, I have brought in with playgroups and we even go to the "toddler" section of the playground, but he still is scared and sheepish about trying it out. I don't want to push him too hard into trying , but I am afraid... well... of him being afraid
    and being ostrichized for being scared of the playground and the swings.

    Answer by DIETITIANMAMA at 9:50 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • Just take him & let him do his thing... be close to him, let him feel comfort through you, and maybe if he feels secure with what little he will do (make castles in the sand/ whatever covers the playarea) he may slowly start to ebb closer to other things..
    Good Luck!
    Have you ask him why, or what he feels about the playground?

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 10:05 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • Just leave him be. Find a bench and sit, and maybe he'll play near you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:21 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • I would just keep bringing him, but maybe not play on the equipment. Bring some toys from home, or a book, or whatever, and do that instead. Let the equipment be in the background, and let him take in the other children playing on it without any pressure to do so (not that I think you are pressuring him). Hopefully he will eventually want to try it too when he sees how much fun others are having.

    Answer by kiki2780 at 11:35 PM on Apr. 29, 2010

  • Thanks ALL!

    Answer by DIETITIANMAMA at 9:50 AM on Apr. 30, 2010

  • let him bring matchbox cars or plastic animals with. My son loves to put them down the slide. Sometimes he brings a ball to play with (be prepared for older kids to take it and play with it...) My son ( 2 1/2 yrs old) loves to chase the older kids- he doesn't realize that they are trying to avoid him.

    Answer by bloomsr at 11:44 PM on Apr. 30, 2010

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