Let it Slide
The Little Tikes Climber Junior Slide is an outdoor toy. It’s made to withstand the elements. Its hard plastic frame is easily wiped of dirt, decomposing leaves, and squirrel defecate that all appear in the backyard. So why is this outside toy in our living room?
To begin, my 19-month old daughter loves slides. Sliding recently surpassed swinging as her favorite park activity. During the winter months there are few slide and/or swinging activities due to the inclement weather.
The Little Tikes Slide is a supervised toy. Whenever my daughter uses it, an adult must be present. It’s stable, it won’t collapse, my daughter isn’t stable, she might collapse.
When she first used the indoor/outdoor slide, we had to hold her hands and help her slide the 1.5 feet down. It’s a thrilling 0.7 second slide. I’m pretty sure it’s the toddler equivalent of ascending Everest.
Sliding once is never enough. Numerous slides must occur. This slide is the Lay’s potato chip of toys.
When she goes down the slide our repeated parental mantra is “on your bum” or “sit down please”. We need to reinforce these fine points because our daughter has tried to slide down face first, backwards, upside down, and on her stomach. Even at such a small distance/speed any of those other slide styles would result in a tiny Evil Knievel wipe-out.
Our other mantra was “wait for mommy/daddy” when she approached the slide without parental supervision. Eventually she wanted to slide without our helicoptering presence. When we approached to help, she responded with “no no no” and proceeded to step off the slide steps.
“I’d rather not slide, then slide with your help.” she implied.
So we let her slide solo and it was successful.
Now she slides on her own terms. Which means she slides anytime she is in close proximity to the slide.
She’ll often perch at the top and wait, to build the anticipation and to make sure we’re watching. We wait, she waits. Then she slides and we clap. Then we lather, rinse and repeat these same action ad infinitum.
Recently the slide, moved down from the living room where it was tightly positioned between a wall and a couch, to the TV room/den. Now we can give our daughter our full attention as she makes slide attempt #4043, and we catch up on who’s been eliminated from Top Chef.