My head and heart are split when it comes to parks. My kids love them. I love the ability to run off energy and get out in the fresh air, come rain or shine. but, there is a very large ‘but’ when it comes to parks. I may be doing something very wrong here, (answers on a postcard most welcome) but a park with more than one child with only one adult, has never yet seem easy. I’ve merely moved between these situations…
Toddler and baby = baby needs to eat the minute the toddler discovers the highest play equipment in the park and NEEDS to play on it now. Risk of falling toddler or screaming baby. It’s a toss up.
Preschooler/toddler and nearly walker = a lot of tantrums. Strap the little one in the buggy and there is tantrums. Walk back achingly around park with small child holding both hands and the big one tantrums because you’ve told them that you actually can’t help them climb the cargo net today.
Preschooler/toddler and toddler = running in opposite directions. Enough said. Plus everyone needs help up the ladder, to be pushed on the swing, has fallen in dog poo at EXACTLY the same time. Don’y worry I always bring the clone mummy that i keep in the cupboard kids. Yep I can certainly help you both at the same time.
Three kids = I’ve made it out of the house. I just need a bench to sit on now thank you very much.
However, one park that I’m slowly growing to love is Eversley park in Kings Worthy. It is just off Lovedon Lane, with a decent sized car park at the end of Loader close. It’s got great huge fields for running, with a handy level change which works great for getting kites to fly with kids who just don’t get how the heck to get the thing off the ground despite going hoarse from shouting RUN NOW at the top of your voice for half an hour.
I braved taking the three kids AND two bikes the other day. Not something I’d usually have enough courage to do on my own (assuming wine in a thermos flask is not considered appropriate here) but the secret weapon at Eversley park is the basketball court. Yep basketball court. Completely flat, fenced in and it was absolutely perfect for my 2 year old to learn to ride her first bike whilst making sure I didn’t lose her brother and sister.
The play park itself, isn’t exactly a mummy friendly sit on a bench with a cold cup of coffee type one, but the littles seem to have a great time. I’d rather it had a bit more shade for the summer months and there is the inevitable too tall, i’m panicking that you are going to fall off backwards that why I’m still standing here, piece of equipment most parents of preschoolers dread, but overall it’s pretty good.
And then there is the ‘nearly tough mudder’ course for the dads…..oh wait, is that meant to be for the kids too??
Bring a picnic…there are some great trees for shade, something many parks seem to lack.
There is further large grass areas on the other side of the big hedge on the left if looking from the car park. You can get to these via a path behind the basket ball court or the bottom corner of the car park.
For those with bigger kids there is cricket nets up in the front right hand corner (when standing in car park). My husband is itching for J to be big enough to attempt to hit a ball back to him.