Continuing our Local Playground Challenge we visited Earsdon Village playsite, which is a great play space, with car parking nearby, a huge free-play field, and a great variety of equipment to suit all different ages and abilities.
We love it, can you tell?!
First off, the gate into this field is toddler-proof. It’s almost parent-proof, because you have to flick two levers up together before pushing the gate. So you can be sure your little one is almost certainly still in the playground if you happen to take your eyes off them for a minute. Don’t test that theory, but I expect it’s much more secure than the Cullercoats playground we visited last week, which has gates that open outwards and are not lockable. What are they thinking?!
So off we go to play. There were lots of children here, and James tends to find one who he declares is his friend, and he latches on to them, following them round and occasionally throwing his arms around them for an unexpected (sometimes unwelcome) cuddle.
Today he and a little girl ran around playing together, and climbing up the main structure over and over. There’s no easy way up this, so you have to use one of the ropes to pull yourself up (or walk the wrong way up the steep-ish slide).
After a while that little girl went home, so James climbed up this pretend rock. A much older boy sitting on the top told him, “you’re too little to come up here”, and James climbed up. “Dad! Dad!” cried the bigger boy, “I’m stuck!”, while James shimmied down again. Well.
After a quick run up the other rope to the tall main climbing frame, James declared he needed a wee, so we ran to the nearby hedge. There we found lots of dandelion clocks, and we enjoyed puffing them out! A serious business, this clock puffing!
There are four swings in this park, as well as this basket swing. James doesn’t usually enjoy these baskets, but Noah and I got in with him today, and we swung gently for a while before James decided to be an aeroplane and asked us to leave, “excuse me, please!”
The second best piece of equipment in this playground is this spider web roundabout. Lots of dads and nannas were being spun around and around by their small charges! James enjoyed just hanging from the bar and swinging round, then dropping off and pretending to be dizzy.
But this is the best thing about this playsite! The slide just has a hill to run up, so it’s accessible to even young toddlers. The slide is wide, so James and two other toddlers lined up at the top, shouted, “Ready, steady, GO!” and then slid down together. Super cute, and super fun!