Playground Approved: Practical Outfits for a Day at the Park


Like most energetic toddlers, my almost three year old is obsessed with "the playground." And it doesn't seem to matter if we're talking about an amazing fully tricked out "adventure land" or one measly tire swing and a mini slide... My guy doesn't discriminate. A playground is a playground—and he'll make the most of it.

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Despite his endless enthusiasm and perpetual playground pleads, the G-man, as I call him, is still rather timid once we get there. He's fine when we're alone, but he's extra cautious, careful, and shy around other kids. He'll climb the stairs to the twisty slide, and freeze in fear if another eager tot rushes passed him. Just last month, another two year old got frustrated with my boy's trepidatious nature, turned around, pushed him and stole his hat. My sweet, timid baby didn't even know how to react—it was honestly heartbreaking.

We're working on my dude's confidence at the playground—encouraging him to assert himself and play without the palpable apprehension that's inhibited him in the past. Practice makes perfect—and we're trying. (#CantStopWontStop.) Recently, he happily played with a girl who called herself "Fire Marshal Penny." WIN! And, he'll race down the slide with his best buddy (pictured above and below!) any given day.

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It might sound silly and superficial, but I'm also trying to be more cognizant of the clothes I dress him in for a trip to the park. I want him to be comfortable and happy and feel free and secure. He needs to be sure of himself while climbing the monkey bars or conquering the steep slide, and he shouldn't be deterred by tight jeans, superfluous zippers, and unnecessary accessories. First and foremost, he needs to feel good... And if he looks stylish too—well, that's a bonus!

To celebrate spring (the season of outdoor play!), I've rounded up a few super-practical and absolutely adorable outfit picks for boys and girls. From the swings to see-saw to the rock-climbing wall, these pieces are most definitely playground approved!

1. Gap Logo Baseball Hat, $15/ 2. Gap Vintage Wagon Tank, $15/ 3. Save Planet Earth Hoodie, $25/ 4. Old Navy Graphic Zebra Tee, $11/ 5. Carter’s Ripstop Cargo Shorts, $18/ 6. Old Navy “See You Later” Graphic Tee, $9/ 7. Kids’ Classic Crocs, $28/ 8. Gap Printed Slip-on Sneakers, $25/ 9. Tea Collection French Terry Shorts, $30

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1. Palm Trees Romper, $10/ 2. Gap Embellished Knot-Back Tank, $16/ 3. San Diego Aloha Truckers Hat, $18/ 4. Pleated Terry-Fleece Pants, $13/ 5. Gap Stripe Soft Shorts, $25/ 6. Old Navy “Messy Hair” Graphic Tank, $9/ 7. Baja Split-Neck Lightweight Hoodie, $58/ 8. Old Navy Printed Slip-ons, $17/ 9. Tea Collection Roll-Cuff Shorts, $23

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