Do you know what's a great idea, Berkshire County residents? Getting your kids out on the playground. And summertime is the perfect time for some playground fun especially if there are lots of other youngsters around.

Playgrounds within our community give children the chance to meet other kids around the same age who hopefully have the same likes and interests. Playing with other kids gives them the opportunity to practice important things they will most certainly need later in life.

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Through playground activities, children can learn things like how to share with others, how to solve problems, how to be patient while taking turns, and most importantly how to develop and improve social, physical, and emotional skills.

I'm happy to report that the city of Pittsfield is bringing back its Summer Playground Program! Starting this Monday, July 11, the program will take place at three parks throughout the city and run through August 19th for children in the city of Pittsfield.

Offered by the Pittsfield Department of Community Development Recreation Program, the Summer Playground Program will offer tons of recreation activities FREE OF CHARGE for children ages 6 to 13 at Clapp Park, Durant Park, and the Pittsfield Common and it's open to children living in Pittsfield.

Playground leaders at all three locations will ensure activities are safe and supervised, plus lots of fun! Activities include arts and crafts, games, sports, and learning about nature.

The program will run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Keep in mind that this program is not designed as a substitute for childcare or camp, but more to provide "drop-in" activities for kids.

Becky Manship, recreation and special events coordinator, had this to say in a media statement from the City of Pittsfield and the Mayor's Office:

“The Summer Playground Program offers even more than a fun time – it fosters self-esteem and friendships and provides participants with positive and caring role models. It lets parents feel good about sending their children to their neighborhood playground, knowing that there will be supervision.

Believe me, I have an 11-year-old granddaughter, so I know it's not easy getting kids to put their phones down and actually get outside to play and interact with others, but it's a good thing to do. For more info on the Summer Playground Program, contact Becky Manship at 499-9371.

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