Playground Review – Norfolk- Norfolk Community Park at Rockwood Road


Today I was meeting friends in Foxboro and asked my sister in law for a playground suggestion- which brought my college roommates and a whole lot of our kiddos to Norfolk Community Park!

I have very little to say EXCEPT this playground is AMAZING! Perfect for the little ones. Lots of fun stuff to do, plenty of safe places to climb. A "new age" merry-go-round, completely fenced in, huge sandbox, and lots of open space for running too. Literally, this place has everything.

My oldest (5yo) spent a lot of time on this 'train'.

My girls (3yo & 1yo) were intrigued by the huge sandbox and the open area hills to run!

And look at this awesome hidden bench inside this 'building'. This building has stairs and 1 ladder reaching a platform with 1 slide. I was completely comfortable allowing my 1 year old to explore this structure without me close by.

Pros:
Bathrooms (porta potty) ✅
Fenced in ✅
Picnic tables ✅ (and they were low to the ground! Comfortable for adults to sit but also very safe for kids!)
Lots of swings ✅ (inclusion swing & baby swings too)
Open area to run ✅
Grassy area to lay infant on ground ✅
Kids who entertained themselves and ran around for almost 2 hours while mommy got to sit and chat with friends?! ✅ ✅

Cons:
It's kind of far from my house. Obviously this is a subjective "con", and won't keep me away from coming back to visit this spot! 🤣🤷🏽‍♀️

Shoutout to my FSC gals for a fabulous day exploring the Foxboro area! And special shoutout to kristen for reading our minds and meeting us at the playground! 😜

Playground Review- Union Point -Weymouth 

I visited Union Point playground a while back and loved it!!! It was shady, offset from the road, had tons of picnic tables and a covering over them too. It was near the dog park but far enough away to give my 3 year old comfort since she is a little uncomfortable with animals. It was great- one of the higher ranked playgrounds on my radar! 

But…. it moved! It’s now located closer to the front (entering from Weymouth). It’s close to a busier road, shares a fence with the dog park and now has ZERO shade. While it still has picnic tables – they are across the parking lot in 100% sun. Lucky for me- it was just a quick trip with my youngest to fill time before I picked up my older kids at camp. She seemed to enjoy it- aside from the 4 older kids just sitting in the only shady part of the whole climbing structure. (I don’t mind older kids using playgrounds, by the way. I do mind when they sit there, ignore toddlers, and refuse to move for said toddler to use a slide.) 

Check out my pros and cons below! 


Pros

  • Scavenger hunt (pictured above). My daughter enjoyed finding these items on little circular plaques throughout the playground structure. She is younger but still understood the concept of finding the matching animal or item!
  • Easy to find (it’s closer to the entrance of Union Point now, so it’s much easier to find!)
  • Has 4-5 tables 

Cons

  • No shade. Hot, hot, hot. We visited on a 80 degree day, it was hot. Occasionally a cool breeze would pass through and it was amazing! 
  • No shade on picnic tables (we tried sitting at them but the bench was too hot to sit on)
  • No baby swings
  • Shares a fence with the dog park (crazy I know that I’m listing this as a ‘con’. My middle child isn’t crazy about dogs. She wasn’t with us during this visit but I’m willing to bet she would not have been a fan of the dogs barking/playing (fighting)) 

Would I go back? Yes! Do I think it’s a cute, close by, smaller playground that could use some shade? Yes! Could I visit after the sun goes down and have a totally different opinion?! Absolutely!  I’ve heard rumor the location of the playground moving is only temporary, I’ll keep you posted! (Or please keep me posted if you have inside info!) 

❤️ bbt

Watson Park Splash Pad – Braintree

I’ve lived in Braintree for most of my life- and I’ve been raising children here for 5ish years now. Today, we ventured down to Watson Splash Pad for the FIRST time! 

My kids had a blast! There are some definite pros and cons- but overall not a bad little spot to cool down for a few hours! 

When we got there there was a lot of activity- but a mom I was talking to said it was fairly empty today! Yikes! As the afternoon went on- it filled up quick- with older kids. Once my youngest (21 months old) started getting knocked down… we knew our time was up and it was time to go! 

Pros 

  • location (it’s in the town I live in)
  • Gated in (one way in- one way out)
  • Lifeguard on duty (pro in the sense that there is an extra set of eyes IF he was looking at anything other than his cell phone. Also a pro that he had a first aid kit BUT was out of bandaids. I felt more secure with him sitting outside the gate – but he didn’t actually do anything at all 🤷🏽‍♀️)
  • Benches to sit on inside the gated area
  • Porta potties available 
  • Playground next to splash pad (this could also be a con!)
  • The water rotates where it comes from (variety is the spice of life – I feel like it kept the kids entertained since it wasn’t always coming from the same places)
  • No button to press to reactivate the water spraying (my kids fight over who gets to press it at other splash pads – I can’t imagine the madness that would go on with 30+ kids trying to press a button!) 


Cons

  • No shade
  • Parking can be tricky (so I’ve heard. Apparently street parking and parking lot parking is for residents only. There is an additional lot for visitors that has a walking path to the splash pad).
  • Playground next to the splash pad (I also considered this a pro!) 

I’d definitely go back again. My kid are already asking!  And I can’t complain since all 3 kids are fast asleep and it’s 7:57 pm! 

🤗😴
❤️ bbt 

Teacher Gifts – appreciation and end of year

I like giving gifts! And, I like celebrating and thanking teachers. Teachers work year round shaping little minds. They care for and (hopefully) love my child when I’m not with him. 

Last week I sent in a basket of goodies for teacher appreciation week. It was tough trying to figure out what to send in for 2 teachers and over 100 high school “buddies”. This is what I came up with. 

I figured they could snack their way through the day. And what preschool teacher can’t use more stickers?! If nothing else– I like to think “it’s the thought that counts”! 

End of year gifts for 12 high school students? Stumped me. It’s hard to give something meaningful but also something that isn’t going to be ridiculously expensive. So, I found these cute jar type containers. I used vinyl and added the name of each of my sons buddies. Then filled it with starburst candy and added a cute tag with twine. Done! 
Last year my son received gifts from some classmates. I’m new to the school thing– this is my oldest in preschool. I didn’t give anything to his preschool friends last year. So, this year I found an adorable idea on onesweetappetite.com (http://onesweetappetite.com/2014/05/stay-cool-this-summer-free-summer-printable/). The best part was it has a FREE printable. Yes, you read that right. I literally had to print, cut and assemble these adorable gifts. 

 I found the ice pops (Star Wars and frozen) at Christmas tree shop. Friend gifts? Check! 

The the main teachers certainly have their work cut out for them. They are the teachers of the preschoolers– but also the teachers of the high school buddies. It’s such a wonderful program. But, I can’t imagine teaching high school students how to teach preschoolers all while keeping the class & schedule running smoothly. Yikes! Anyways, the two main teachers are wonderful! I ended up getting them each a pair of LuLaRoe leggings. I tried to get a solid red pair but could only find prints. So, a red tablecloth and a few pencils later- this is what I came up with! 
I miss being IN the classroom, so I really enjoy doing teacher gifts. I remember how nice it was to be appreciated. Our family sure appreciates the lab program at the high school. So much so– that my daughter will be attending in the fall! 🍎 

❤️bbt

My Playground Review – Foxboro – Payton Road Playground

Today we were in Foxboro at the weekly free story time & character meet and greet. If you haven’t heard about it- check it out! Free pizza, free story time and a free character meet and greet. It’s Tuesdays at 11, and characters are listed on the Showcase Cinema webpage.

While we were in Foxboro, we checked out the Payson Road playground. Although it didn’t have an address, I just put Payson Road into my GPS and got there in about 7 minutes. 

My kids love exploring new places. Our conversation today was:

Me- Anyone want to try a new playground down the street?

3 year old-  yeah!!!

4 1/2 year old- I hope it doesn’t suck 

So, mom win? Huge mom fail? Either way – my 4.5 year old decided when we left it was a fun playground and wants to go back. Win! 

The space is wide open– lots of room to run and play! A good thing so the kids can have some freedom, but a terrible thing when you’re solo watching 3 children under the age of 5. Lots of choices of activities, plenty of swings, and even a covered area with a few cozy coupes for the younger children. My favorite thing was the tractor! Overall- We liked this spot a lot! It’s perfect for toddlers! I’ll break it down below. 

Pros

  • Plenty of parking
  • Lots to do
  • Shaded areas
  • Clean, equipment in good working condition 
  • Seating for snacks or lunch (2 picnic tables and a few benches too)
  • Climbing structures were exciting but not terribly tall or dangerous
  • Has a porta potty

Cons

  • Hard to find (no real address listed)
  • Not fenced in 

❤️bbt

“Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss – graduation gift 


This idea was floating around the internet when my son was around 2 and I knew I wanted to do it!  I just sent it in to preschool today which prompted this post.  My son is in his second (and final) year at a wonderful lab program where he has 2 main teachers and 10-12 high school “buddies”.  When I pulled out his book to send to school , I got so emotional over the notes from last year– written to my little itty bitty 3 year old! Time flies by so fast! 

The basic idea is you gift this book at graduation to your child. Throughout their years in school, you have teachers sign it and write words of encouragement. It’s basically a 12 year (or more if you start in daycare or preschool) yearbook.

I’m not so sure how I’ll actually get this book to my kids high school teachers when the time comes– something I’ll have to figure out in the next 8 years I guess! Has anyone done this? How did you approach high school teachers? For now it’s easy. I send it in his backpack with a note. He can’t read yet so I’m good until at least next year! 

So far so good with one kiddo in school–  I’ll let you know how I’m doing when I have to track down teachers when all three of my kids are in school! 

❤️ bbt 

Playground Review – Quincy – Wollaston Beach Playground

What a great spot! And the weather today was amazing! 

This playground is located on Quincy Shore Drive next to The Clam Box. If you’re not familiar with the area- Quincy Shore Drive is the road the runs along the beach. 

We parked along the beach in a (free) parking spot. During the summer months and weekends I’m assuming it will be harder to get parking, but today there were plenty of available spots. 

My kids loved this spot! There was a big kid area and an area designed for toddlers too. 

Here is the big kid structure:

And here is the toddler area:

There was plenty of shade, lots of picnic tables and grassy areas to sit and snack, also plenty of benches to sit and watch the kiddos, and a spot with 2 baby swings. 

We really enjoyed this playground. After we played… we headed back across the street to the beach and dug in the sand with our pails and shovels. The Clam Box is next door, too, making this a perfect “day out” spot if you wanted to grab lunch! 

Pros: 

  • Fenced in
  • Plenty of shade
  • Lots of places to sit for snacking 
  • Great location (near food & beach)
  • Well cared for climbing structures (all in good working order. One spot was missing a slide but it was safely boarded so it posed no risk to the children)

Cons:

  • Parking could be an issue during summer months and/or weekends
  • On a busy main road (but there is a crosswalk right at the playground gate) 

Have you been here? Share with us what you think! Anything to add to the pro/con list? Any playground you’d like me to check out?