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ISO Playgrounds for 12-18 month olds

When my Philly was about 13 months old, she was still so wobbly on her feet and would sometimes be so uncoordinated that she'd miss the handrail that she was reaching for.  I was constantly nervous at the playground when she was that itty bitty.  The gaps between the handrails on the stairs can be large enough for her to fall between.  Sure enough, she was about 5 steps up, heading toward the slide, and she reached for the handrail, missed grabbing it, then fell through the space between the handrail and step.  SPLAT!

Lisa, thank you for your question:

What are the best Portland public parks for very young toddlers -- say, 12 to 18 months old? Are there any that have fun play equipment geared for tiny kids just beginning to walk? I 've got a 14-month-old who's almost walking and who loves to clamber all over everything. We've been to several parks, and most of the play structures are for kids a little bit older (maybe 2 and above). (Of course there's usually a baby swing, which is good.)  The structure at Laurelhurst is our favorite so far when it's not too busy -- the slides are low enough for him to go down by himself. Any other suggestions?

Mamas, have you found a great playground for your 12- to 18-month olds?


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yep. two come to mind: the east play area at Kenilworth Park (nearest 34th and Holgate) and the entire playground at Piccolo park (btw 27th and 28th, Division and Clinton)

There's some good play equipment for little ones at Wilshire Park, NE 33rd Ave & Skidmore St. My play group use to meet there when our kids were about 12 months. There's also a big sand area so be prepared for a sandy baby. :)

There is a great toddler area at a park in Newberg where I live. It is behind the public library, a bit far from most UM's but my 11 month old loves it!

Kenton Park has a play structure that's scaled nicely for young toddlers. I particularly like the small entry-level slide. Of the three parks nearest our NoPo home, this is definitely the one where we were most comfortable taking our son when he was "wobbler" size.

I second Wilshire. Nicely shady in spots. Beware the merry go round, though...it's a toddler magnet, and it often ends in tears (at least it did for us way back when).

i echo the recommendations for wilshire park in ne - it rocks for the tiny tots

i echo the recommendations for wilshire park in ne - it rocks for the tiny tots

Emily, we live in Newberg too and are at the 'library park' at least three times a week. It's a great park for 12mo. all the way to grade school. So, if you're ever in the area...

Thanks for posting this! My daughter is 14 months old and while she does get around really well, some of the parks are just meant for older kids. I can't wait to try some of these out, as soon as it stops raining anyway.

Yes - Wilshire is a good one. We also like the part of Woodstock park that is geared more toward the little tots. Its great!

Wellington Park is also really nice for small ones. It's on 68th and Beech. It's the perfect small park.

Columbia Park in North Portland. This is one of the hidden gems of Portland. It's a big park and the cathedral-like stand of trees in this park are amazing. There's also a wide paved trail around the perimeter. The play structure is big and very new. It says it's for ages 5-12, but my 15-month-old loves it. There's a small stair with railing for the little ones to climb and a toddler-friendly see-saw (the best I've seen) and climbing tube. Plenty of baby-swings, too. All in the shade of the big trees. Really, the perfect 90 degree day spot to cool off. Plus, there is a wading pool that is apparently filled with fresh water each day in the warm summer.

The sellwood park is great for little ones. There are two structures-one for the older kids and one for the little ones. Lots of things to grab hold of with a tunnel and a low slide. Of course the baby swings too. We also like the woodstock park. Oh, the Sellwood is a bit muddy in the rainy season so be prepared.

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