I've been to four different playgrounds with the kids in the past two weeks, but I only remembered to bring my camera with one time. I took pictures with my phone camera, but I don't have the right adapter to download them to the computer, so this post will just have a lot of text. I've included links to the parks if you want to check them out.
In between the cold, wet, rainy days, we've had sunny, bright 60 degree days in the Chicago area this month. So, when the sun in up, we try to get out of the house. If we don't drive somewhere, the kids spend several hours in the backyard, riding bikes, swinging, sliding, and pretend playing.
Last week, we had a wonderful day at Proksa Park in Berwyn with my friend M and her son J. Just last year, I remember being so nervous when the kids climbed up the tall ladders and climbing walls. Now, they hang from top rungs and jump off. They always manage to find friends at playgrounds, and this day was no exception. At one point, Jared and a little girl were digging for dinosaur fossils. They played with other kids almost the entire time, something I'm not used to as they usually want me to play along, too. I was able to talk with my friend for a while, who is going to have her little girl in a week. Before we left, the kids spent a half hour at the pond feeding the ducks. We forgot to bring bread, but we found out ducks also like to eat peanuts and raisins. Who knew?
Another day we went to the Lakeview Nature Center in Oakbrook Terrace. I really wish I had my camera this day because I took so many cute pictures with my phone. We went to see their winter exhibit, Sharks in the Suburbs. It was really well done for a small nature center. The kids examined real shark teeth, Alexa and I made shark puppets, Jared played in a little swimming pool with stuffed sharks, while wearing goggles. They also stood next to the jaws of a real megalodon, and checked out the other animals in the center including a rat, turtles, a rabbit, walking sticks, chipmunk, and tarantula. Then we played in the playground for a long time, and Jared got really muddy pulling up stones along the bank and tossing them into the creek.
new playground near our house. The pictures from this post are from the day we went there. Jared wanted to bring his cape, which is really a red vest. He puts his head through one of the arm holes and pretends it's his Batman cape. Well, when we got there, he realized he left it at home and had a good cry and pout for the first 15 minutes. Eventually he got over it, after much cajoling on my part. I ran and played with them the entire time. It's my own built-in workout.
And just yesterday, we went to Smith Park, which is about to be torn down and relocated across the street next to the Lyons Village Hall and the ball fields. All the swings were torn down already, it's next to a basketball court and the kids were swearing loudly most the time, and it really looked run-down, but none of that mattered much to the kids. They just cared that I play tiger with them; so I chased them and ran the whole hour and a half we were there. Soon we attracted a small crowd of kids, and I chased a few more kids as well, while their mothers sat on the bench, talking on the phone, and probably thinking how weird I was.