Safety is a concern at a playground. All children deserve an experience that is safe and rewarding when they venture onto a playground. Having a playground watch alleviates worry that the children’s experience will be anything but fun. In addition, if an accident does, by chance, occur, a responsible adult is ready to take action.
Sample content for a recruitment flyer
Playground Watch needs volunteers!
(Name of Playground)
- A playground watcher volunteers at least two hours each month.
- A playground watcher walks, bikes, or, in popular areas, just sits and watches.
- A playground watcher tells visitors about playground conditions and provides information on playground rules and history.
- A playground watcher advises city park staff or other city officials of any conditions needing their attention, such as damage, vandalism, maintenance issues, lost or hurt visitors, suspicious activities, etc.
(List any qualifications you seek in a volunteer such as age and completion of a background check, agreement for service, a training session, etc.)
For additional information, please contact (name, phone number, and email address).
Here are a few things to keep in mind for establishing and running a neighborhood playground watch:
- Make sure watch volunteers have cell phones.
- Have the watch volunteer wear a recognizable t-shirt.
- Advertise the watch schedule—on your neighborhood listserv, on community bulletin boards, etc.
- Get local law enforcement involved. Let them know what you are doing so they can help supplement and complement your commitment to safety.
- Check out additional resources for neighborhood playground and park watches at the National Crime Prevention Council.
Beyond the ever-important safety element as the driving force for a playground watch, volunteering your time as a “playground monitor” is a great opportunity to see children at play. Rally your fellow play committee members and go out and watch children in your area just be in their element—in pure play! This also gives you the time and a few moments of reflection to see how children come to learn, grow, and develop through their play activities.