Playground etiquette regarding toys?

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?


Medic - posted on 05/12/2012




I have mixed feelings on this. Would I like my kids to share with everyone? Of course! Is that really a fair expectation? No. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. We kind of take it on a day by day basis. If the kids that are there are all polite and everyone is sharing with everyone then my kids should follow suit and share. When the kids are not all sharing or are much older than my kids I do not expect my kids to share. They are allowed to have days where they just want to play by themselves and that is ok but sometimes we have to help give them the words to say that. I personally do not feel bad if other parents to not bring their kids toys to play with because I did not spend money for everyone else to take my kids toys.

Dove - posted on 05/12/2012




I would continue to bring toys for my child to play with and... If my kid brought toys I would expect them to share whatever they weren't actively playing with if a child was there and didn't have toys of their own with them(and make them share if they wouldn't do it willingly). If we came and didn't have toys I would hope that someone else would share with my kid/kids, but I wouldn't expect it.


View replies by

Amy - posted on 05/12/2012




My 6 year old knows that if he's bringing stuff to play with that I expect him to share if others ask. If its really special he usually decides to leave it in the car. Obviously at two this is a harder concept to understand because everything is "mine", but I would still encourage my daughter to let someone else have a turn if it's something she's not actively playing with. I would also hope that if I forgot their toys I would hope that another child would share and if not I would get my children focused on something else.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms