Tips for Taking Older Kids to the Pool and Park


Older Kids Playground Siblings Des Moines Moms Blog

My oldest is in middle school and is starting to act more like a “big kid”. It’s an interesting time because sometimes he still feels like a young kid and at other times he is telling me that he’s too old for something.

During our summers, we spend a lot of time outside at local pools and parks with playgrounds too. In the past, he was very happy playing on the playground equipment or splashing around in the shallow end of the pool. Since he has a younger brother, we still spend a lot of time at these places. Here’s how I make it more enjoyable for my kids—and others at the parks and pools too!

Safety First!

I remember being the mom who was appalled at the big kids running around like crazy people when my littles were trying to enjoy the playground or shallow end. I was a nervous wreck! Now, I talk to my boys about being the big kids and being extra careful around the little kids who don’t really understand what it means to watch out for others or take turns. Part of being older is being more responsible for yourself and others around you.

Find the Right Park

The perfect park for this stage of life is one with a playground for my youngest kid and a basketball court for my oldest. Walking/hiking areas are a big hit, as are parks where we can go geocaching. We also make sure it has a bathroom close by and some shade if possible.

Older Kids Playground Siblings Des Moines Moms Blog

Practice Compromises

There are times when both kids need to play in the shallow end with their cousins or we stop at a park without a basketball court. I try to make sure we get something fun in for my oldest later or tell him the next time we’ll start in the deep end.

Be Prepared

Here are few things we bring along to keep everyone happy:

  • Old basketball (with a ball pump)
  • Bouncy balls
  • Snacks. Lots of snacks
  • Books to read
  • Geocaching items
  • More snacks
  • First aid kit

I know my summers with my boys are limited, and I really want them both to have a great time. I’m glad we’re finding some ways to make our outings lots of fun for everyone!

What are your favorite parks in Des Moines for older kids? 

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Katie Nyberg
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Wes, and we have two energetic boys who are active in hockey, cross country, choirs, bands, and track. Our family loves to explore Des Moines, travel around the country, and do anything sports related together! I own a birth and postpartum doula agency called The Iowa Baby Ladies that supports families in Central Iowa. We love serving mothers in our area as they grow, birth, and mother their babies with confidence!


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