Saskatoon

Kids, parents flock back to Sask. playgrounds

Kids across the province can once again slide, swing and climb at their favourite park.

Playgrounds, beaches re-opened Friday as part of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions

Betsy Mawdsley (left), Hayley Legg and their son William enjoyed a sunny day at Saskatoon's W. W. Ashley Park Friday. William had never been on a slide until Friday, as the province's COVID-19 restrictions began when he was too young to try. (Jason Warick/CBC)

Saskatchewan playgrounds are once again alive with the sounds of giggling and squealing.

After three months of lockdown, playgrounds and beaches across the province reopened Friday in the latest part of the government's plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

Laurissa Letendre brought her two-year-old daughter Lorelai to Saskatoon's WW Ashley Park on Taylor Street, also known as the "purple park." Several other parents watched their kids swing, slide and climb on the equipment that had recently been covered with yellow caution tape.

"It's amazing, we love connecting with people. We love being in the community. Especially because of her age, it's so great to stretch her legs. She's been staring at these parks for a really long time," Letendre said.

Curtis Clements and his sons sanitize their hands during a visit to W. W. Ashley Park in Saskatoon Friday afternoon. Playgrounds are again open, but health officials are still reminding everyone to practise distancing and frequent hand washing. (Jason Warick/CBC)

They met Nikki Harper and son Kai, also two years old, at the park. They discovered they had mutual friends and spent the afternoon chatting.

"We're just excited to be here. [Kai] just wants to go," Harper said.

Even though parks are open, health officials are still encouraging everyone to maintain a safe physical distance and wash hands frequently.

Most at Ashley Park appeared to be observing these recommendations.

Curtis Clements and son Leo enjoy the swings at Saskatoon's W. W. Ashley Park Friday afternoon. Playgrounds and beaches opened Friday as part of the government's plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions. (Jason Warick/CBC)

Curtis Clements said his boys found creative ways to stay active in the past months, but that it's nice to have the playground open again.

"It's nice to have the tape off. I think the kids are doing it pretty safely. We've got our hand sanitizer here. The kids remind each other to stay away from other kids" Clements said.

"I think this is a good thing."

It was a big day for 14-month-old William Mawdsley-Legg. He went down a slide for the first time. His parents, Betsy Mawdsley and Hayley Legg, said their son had a great time.

"We're pretty excited. When lockdown came in, he wasn't walking yet. So we've been anxiously waiting for things to get going. We live a block from here," Mawdsley said. "He's just been running around yelling 'Yes!' repeatedly."

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