Sioux Falls’ Playground Program has a different look in its 78th year

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For the past 77 years, the Park and Rec’s Playground Program has provided free fun for children at parks across the city. The program allows parents to drop their kids off at various parks for an hour of supervised fun.

Since June 3, children across Sioux Falls have been coming to city parks for some fun.

“Get them out, get them moving. Get them out of the house. I know a lot of people have been cooped up for a while, so we were glad to offer this program again as a way for people to get out and enjoy the community,” Recreation Program Coordinator Eric Saathoff said.

Planning for the playground program’s return began in the spring.

“We took a look at our program, we thought it was value added to the community so we took a look at it, and decided steps we could do to ensure its proper implementation,” Saathoff said.

Employees are required to wear masks when children are present, hand sanitizer is available, and all parents must sign a waiver before their child can play.

“It’s just acknowledging that COVID is present in the community and they’re aware of the risks of being out in a public space,” Saathoff said.

They’ve also added 11 new parks this year, for a total of 25 available throughout the week.

“We purposely added in more parks to help spread the kids out more,” Saathoff said.

With social distancing in mind, the activities available feature games that allow for plenty of space.

“This year we’re focusing on big, active games. So a lot of games such as kickball, spud, things that kids can up and moving, and spread out with,” Saathoff said.

The playground program is available from Monday to Friday, with one hour stops at the various parks beginning at 9:30 and going until 5. A schedule of times and parks can be found here.

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