I love taking my son to the playground and while I expect other children to be aware of him I know that a big part of that is the parents of the other children.
Even Ben has noticed that you can tell the parents of the good children from the parents of the bad children.
The good parents are the ones making eye contact with their children. Who are noticing them play and make sure they are playing nice and following the rules. They may look at the phones or even be doing something but they are always aware of their children and what they are doing.
It's the other parents I have a problem with. The parents who aren't watching their children. The ones who are so busy on their blackberry phones, or iPods that the child has to walk up to them and pull on the phone to get their attention. The woman who was grading papers and not watching her child. Or even the woman who was sitting outside the play area (which said all children had to be supervised) while her son was inside and couldn't be seen.
So...play area etiquette. They seem to be for parents because I think parents are accountable for teaching their children these things.
1: Teach your children. They don't know if you don't teach them simple things like:
Don't sit at the bottom of the slide when someone else is waiting to go down.
Wait your turn.
2:Bumping happens,teach your children to say "Excuse me","I'm sorry". It isn't that hard and I won't be upset if some kid bumps my 10 month old and says "I'm sorry I didn't see him there." General consideration is important, teach it to them now.
3: Watch your children. You don't have to helicopter parent. Just be aware of what they are doing. If the sign says your child should be supervised that doesn't mean by other parents. If you can play on a DS then you aren't watching your child.
4:If the play area is for children under 3 and you are a set of 13 year old girls sitting there trying to have a conversation don't get upset when me son crawls over to you and gently puts his hand on yours because he thinks you want to play. Also, don't take this opportunity to yell at him because I will loudly proclaim how you shouldn't be sitting in the children's area talking about how much you like Bobby or whatever the hell his name was. (To the 12 year old boy who was sitting playing with a wall toy when my son crawled into your lap...thank you. You were very sweet about it and even said "it's ok, I was just kind of sitting here and he's a baby." When your mom came over to apologize to me I actually thanked her for raising such a sweet boy. )
5: If it says "No shoes" and "you must wear socks" then please do so. Athletes foot as a child sucks. Plus there are children without shoes on, hands on the floor and when you run around with your sneakers on you step on little hands and toes. This is for the general well being and safety of the other children playing here.