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Unstructured Fun: Free Play on the Parkway

mama knows it all, free play on the parkway

Just about every Saturday, Ayva and I get up at our normal time (early, very early), get dressed, and head out of the house on an adventure.  Most days I know what’s on the menu; shopping, running errands or an event.  Every once in awhile, though, there is a weekend where nothing has to get done, there’s nothing that we absolutely have to do.  On those days, we leave the house as usual, jump on the train, and end up where we end up!

Today was one of those days.  As we were making our way to the train station, Ayva asked where we were going.  I asked her where she wanted to go.  She said that she wanted to see animals.  Well, I knew the zoo would be a (wait for it…) zoo today, so I checked the Philly Fun 4 Kids site hoping for some alternative.  I was thinking a nice play about animals (you know, inside an air-conditioned theater), but instead I found information about Free Play on the Parkway.  Free Play is an unstructured playspace for children that encourages creativity and imagination.  It just so happens that today the Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels was visiting!  
mama knows it all
philadelphia zoo on wheels, mama knows it all
free play on the parkway, mama knows it all
mama knows it all

As Ayva gets older, I absolutely see the need for structured activities.  Dance and music lessons, sports,  and whatever else she shows interest in is sure going to take up lots of time, and will help her build the type of 21st century skills that she’ll need down the line.  All of that structure can wait for right now, though.  Right now, I want her to go from one activity to the next, exploring and discovering, trying and failing.  For now, I just want her to be 3.