My park: Our neighbourhood park is more than a playstructure

by Isabelle My neighbourhood park is, to a large extent, the reason why my husband and I bought our house. At the time, we had a very active 15 month old boy. Although we felt that the proximity of the house to a playstructure would serve us well in the future, we had no idea just how much we would appreciate it. Now that our son is almost four years old, and our new baby daughter two months old, we couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

Our park, located in the Convent Glen neighbourhood of Orleans, is situated in the middle of a residential area. It is home to a large playstructure and a swing set that can be used by both toddlers and older kids.

As new residents of the neighbourhood, my husband and I spent many hours playing with our son, at first on our own, then gradually, with other parents and kids. And that is really when the park became a permanent fixture in our social lives. We made new friends, all with kids around the same ages, with whom to share the ups and downs of parenting. While the children play together, we chat about daycares, schools, and kid-friendly activities.

As the kids' friendships grow, so do their parents'. We visit each others' homes for playdates in the winter, and we organize multi-family outings. Recently, one mom has organized a picnic in the park for all of us. It's a new tradition that we hope to keep going throughout the summer. For us, there's nothing like finding a kindred spirit just a few steps away from your front door after a long day at the office or with the kids - and that is the true value of the neighbourhood park.

Isabelle is the mom of 3.5 year old Jay and two-month old Rosie. You can also find her at Dr. Peach's Blog.