Joy - posted on 05/12/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )
So I'm wondering what the right playground etiquette is when it comes to playground toys and bringing them to a public playground. I live in an apartment in a small city that has a park with a large sandbox for the kids to play. There's only a couple of parks with sandboxes so this one is a favorite (and more so when the splash pads are turned on in a couple weeks.) Its a pretty nice park and lots of different things for the kids to do in the sandbox and out of it. Since we're apartment dwellers we don't have a sandbox of our own, but we have sand toys.
Sometimes when I've forgotten the toys other kids will have toys but most of the time they chose not to share them with my 2 year old daughter. So I try to remember to bring them when we go to this playground. Unfortunately, there are times like today when my daughter's the only one with sand toys and everyone was asking her if they could play with them. She said 'no' - as that is the behavior from the other kids she's seen and she's 2 years old.
Today, despite my daughter saying 'no,' another older girl (I'd guess around 6 or 7 years old) took one of the shovels to play next to her. Despite my daughter repeatedly saying 'no' and the girl's mother reprimanding the girl the girl still played with the toys. I ended up sitting down with my daughter and the girl and mediating the situation: talking to the girl and explaining that sharing is a concept we're working on, but my daughter's 2. Eventually the other girl grew bored and I ended up making sure my daughter kept every toy she had put away or had them in her hands. It resulted in some very painful knees on my part (I'm pregnant) as I sat in the sandbox with her.
Should I continue to bring the toys and handle the situations as they come up (and I'm not sure if what I did was the right way or not) or should we just leave the toys at home and bring them out in situations where we know we're going to be the only ones at a sandbox?