Posted in Behavior, Safety, Preschoolers, Toddlers

Slide Etiquette


Hi everyone, I have a 15 month old, so still pretty young, but he knows how to use a slide. I think I have been able to teach him not to climb up the slide when others are around pretty successfully. However, last night, we were at a play center, and he climbed up the stairs for a slide (good!), and just as he was about to go down, another child came and started climbing up. I tried to tell him to wait, and he did for a brief moment, but the other child continued climbing up, making no efforts to move out of the way. My son slid down on top of the other child. So, I guess technically I don't have a problem with my son doing that last night because the other kid was 3-4 and should have known better. But, in the future, it would be nice to know how to prevent this? Because of the set up, I could not physically stop my son from sliding down on top of the other kid. But when you work so hard to teach your kid the proper way to climb up the steps and not the actual slide in order to go down the slide, it's hard to say, "Hey I know you just climbed up but this other kid is rudely in your way now so you can't slide down." What do other parents do?

  • K
    May 09

    Totally get the frustration. I have been very diligent in teaching my babes playground etiquette. My son, now 4, was always very tall for his age and kids would mistake him for being older, which was hard bc not only did they not take care when playing near him, he thought he could do what they did. To this day I am very clear and go over my expectations of his behavior, very important bc now he IS the big kid, before every trip to a public play area. Your son is still too little to understand much, so just continue to teach and model good behavior. I personally will speak in an appropriate way with children that are creating an unsafe or unfair play environment for my kids. (In the moment) If I need to I will seek out the parent to address the situation. Try to find a playground that has a separate play area for toddlers. Also, I found that people usually frequent the same playground, so I kinda figured out where like minded parents go and where my son will fit in best.

  • Anonymous
    May 09

    A good teaching moment for “just cause other kids are doing it, doesn’t mean you should!” I have no issue telling a kid in my mom voice “uh oh! Willian is coming down the slide now, watch out! Maybe try going up the stairs” I’d rather that than my kid slam into the other and the mom getting upset with me that way 🤷🏽‍♀️ id expect the same from another mom. Obviously not parenting the other child but just giving small cues or suggestions, “hey watch out someone is coming down the slide!” “Uh oh, come this way and use the slide from the stairs!” “You might get hurt from the kids coming down, move out of the way” I don’t see wrong in speaking up to a child that isn’t mine, especiallyyyyy for the safety of that child and mine.

  • anonymous mom
    May 09

    What anon said....also, I am not trying to be a jerk, but I never thought of toddlers climbing up the slide as bad daughter tries but if someone is about to come down I scoop her up and say, “oh let’s let them pass!” of course, if you have to ask a child to move so yours can go down then that’s okay too.

  • Andy
    May 10

    Once they have mastered the stairs and slide the traditional way, I think climbing up slides is a important skill to learn for a toddler. It’s fun and exciting to explore a playground in a new way. Gives them a safe space to take risks and discover what they are capable of. I’ve seen parents yelling at their kids or threatening to take them home over slide climbing even when nobody was around. I think that’s unnecessary stress for parent and child. However, kindness must come first. Definitely can’t stand it when big kids cut in front of the toddler or when they climb up around them as they try to go down. We tell our kids that if another kid is coming down they can’t go up. But if nobody else is using the slide I have absolutely no problem with them climbing it. I usually just avoid busy playgrounds because kids are often rude to the smaller kids. Or as others said find toddler playgrounds meant for the age.

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    May 10

    So there is nothing wrong with kids climbing the slides. In fact it is fantastic for their physical growth and motor skills. But I do think there are rules and etiquette there. I know 3-4 might seem old to you because you have a younger child but they are still learning all of these things too. Even 7-10 year olds are. Prob even older. I enforce with my kids that whoever started their activity first needs to finish it before the next kid goes regardless on whether that’s up or down. And I always teach my kids to look at the bottom and top of the slide before beginning. Finally if the park is super busy I ask them to stick to sliding down the slide so they don’t get kicked in the face.