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  1. #1
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    How do you manage 5 young children at the park?

    Okay, I must know... I know a lot of you have the full 5 children in your care, and I was just wondering how you manage to watch over 5 children at once in the park? I've got 3 little ones (2 infants and 1 3 year old), and I find that a handful at the park! One is crawling everywhere, and the 2 others are running around everywhere. Thank goodness the 3 year old is pretty good on her own, but the other 2 keep my hands full. I would like to take on another child, but not sure how the park visits would go. Any tips?

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  3. #2
    Euphoric !
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    In summer when it is busier at the park, I have a set of five matching brightly coloured sunhats, which helps a lot to keep track of them. I also establish rules right from the beginning...if anyone tries to leave the playground area, they are strapped into the stroller for a good while to think about their choice. Sometimes it takes many stroller times to get it for the young toddlers, but they do get it. Other than that, all I can say is I stay close to the younger ones who might fall from a play structure etc and I am constantly scanning the park, counting, checking what they are doing. I don't get to sit and watch from the bench, that's for sure! Some of the parks in my area have two play structures, one for the toddlers and a bigger one...I don't let any of the kids go on the bigger one as we need to all stay together in one place. Other than that, it's just something you build up to. And, if the park ever gets too busy, we leave because then it gets too hard to watch them all.

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  5. #3
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    We have a lovely park right across the street from us, huge play structures; often the first thing potential daycare parents & children remark about on first visit. I have to be honest, I have taken my daycare children there once in 2 years...and that was at 9am before anyone else was there. It just makes me so nervous when I can't see all of them at once. We do have another mostly fenced in, really small park (no play structure, just some swings) a 15 min walk away and that is where I do take them all (usually with a picnic lunch). I am blessed with being at the end of a tiny dead end street and with a big fenced in back yard...so we spend a lot of our outdoor time right at home.
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  6. #4
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    I'll definitely have to set rules (with the ones who can understand them). Right now, I've been letting them go where they want, but I find it stressful since the 3 year old is normally at the other side of the park from us.

  7. #5
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    I don't. I have a bit of a walk to a nearby park and I have to walk them along a road without a proper side walk. It's not too bad during the day when there isn't a lot of traffic, but I wouldn't feel confident walking all 5 down the street.

    I save the park for special days when I have 2 or 3 and we can go into the wagon. I can safely and confidently watch 2 or 3 and that's about it.

    I think there are too many variables at a public park. People I don't know, garbage on the ground, maybe something sharp, pets, older kids etc.

    I have developed a pretty awesome structure in my back yard so the kids don't seem to miss the park too much.

  8. #6
    Euphoric !
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    We go only as far as my backyard since everything they need is there and it also means there is things for every age with is not available at the park. Last summer the city took out the sand and replaced it with bark chips so I can't even let the babies out to crawl around - not that I liked it before since you never knew what was in the sand. Also the structure even though it is the tot lot section was hard for anyone under 2 1/2 to get up onto. In the yard they have access to more to do and have the freedom to go anywhere in the yard. Have people coming over tonight to give us a quote on a deck which would be nice for outside on days when the yard is wet or first thing in the morning when the grass is damp and/or I dont' want grass and sand debris back in the house. I do outside play at the end of the day and the messy kids go straight home.

  9. #7
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    I have 5 kids of my own. an 8 year old, 6 y/o, 5y/o, 3y/o and 1 y/o

    It can be kind of stressful- but I don't hover. If I am pushing the little ones on the swings I can observe the bigger kids playing.

  10. #8
    Euphoric !
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    They can ALL understand if you are consistant! I find it's the 16 -20 month olds who are the worst for trying to run off...so they end up going into the stroller repeatedly until the get it. I have a little guy who was in that stage last fall and spent a whole lot of time sitting in the stroller, followed by another chance...then he would try to toddle off again and back in the stroller he went. This year he hasn't tried to run off once. Now my new dcg who just turned 2 is the one who runs off...she hasn't been with me long enough to know that this is not okay. Probably her parents just follow her wherever she runs (as long as it isn't the road of course), so she thinks she gets to decide where she plays. So I have to watch her extra carefully to make sure she isn't starting to wander off. I do not allow anyone to be outside of the designated area. It might be harder for you now as you have allowed them before, but you can do it. Tell the three year old where the boundary lines are and tell her that if she crosses the line she will be sitting on the bench watching her friends play. She will learn fast. I think I would go totally stir crazy if we couldn't get out to play at the park when the weather is nice...especially after being couped up all winter. I have a yard that we use in the afternoons...but I like the variety the park offers.


    Quote Originally Posted by smileyface View Post
    I'll definitely have to set rules (with the ones who can understand them). Right now, I've been letting them go where they want, but I find it stressful since the 3 year old is normally at the other side of the park from us.

  11. #9
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    I dont take kids to the park unless I have hubby or my teenage daughter with me. I personally have a fear of heights so I hate watching them climb up the ladders and such but even if that wasnt the case I dont feel that I can keep my eyes on 5 little ones and keep everyone safe. I also think what would happen if one got hurt, not seriously in that they need an ambulance but enought that they couldnt walk home easily, how would I do it if I have a little one or two that HAVE to be in the stroller. I give the kids everything they need to have fun right here at home. I had one family interview who was really bothered that i didnt go to the park and ultimately they didnt sign on but I figure goin to the park can be a family thing for them to do on weekends.

  12. #10
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    I have 6 kids most days and 5 a few of the others....I don't plan on venturing to the park across the street unless my husband is off early and able to come with me! Just too risky, especially if someone got seriously hurt....having to pack them all up, wait for ambulance, get them back home, etc. I have tons to do here at home and feel more confident staying put. But I also have 3 babies and the rest are toddlers so it isn't the best as group for the park anyways lol

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