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Five minutes with… @norfolkplayparks

With the UK’s playgrounds and parks starting to open again, we take five with Naomi Brien from @norfolkplayparks, who tells us about some of her favourite parks to explore with her family.

Stanley in Galaxy shoes

1. Hi Naomi, tell us a bit about your family?
Hey! My family consists of myself, my husband Samuel and our two-year-old son, Stanley. We live in a town in Norfolk and love to spend our time together outside exploring or going for fun days out!

2. Talk us through a typical day for you all?
A typical day for us includes getting up and having breakfast together. We often then head out and go for a drive to find new play parks for the website. This usually means a long drive in the car! We try to head out whatever the weather. We like to find a little café or restaurant for lunch and head out again to a park that we have planned to go to.

3. Tell us about your Norfolk Play Parks site?
I created Norfolk Play Parks last summer after visiting some new parks with my son and when I posted photos on my personal Instagram account, I had some friends message me asking where the parks were. After doing some research I found that there wasn’t a platform for people to search for new play parks in our county. The website lists the play parks I have visited with Stanley and I provide photos of the parks, a link to the address and lists of the play equipment and park facilities. I have recently added a map to the website which shows where all of the parks are that we have visited.

Stanley in Galaxy shoes

4. How do you plan which parks you’re going to visit?
I have a huge list of parks that I have compiled from my lovely Instagram followers. I like to plan a route and try to visit a few parks in that particular area at the same time.

5. What would you say has been your favourite park to visit with your son?
My personal favourites are Burnham Market and Bintree! I absolutely love the wooden play equipment. Key features I like to look out for are also car parking and whether the park is fenced in or away from the road. I like it if a park has a mixture of play equipment for younger and older children and a playing field for games.

6. What does your son love the most about exploring with you?
Stanley just loves to be outside, He loves to play and is very good at climbing! He likes to find sticks and pinecones to bring home and it is always a bonus if we see some insects or animals on our trip!

Stanley in Galaxy shoes

7. What benefits do you think outdoor play has for young children?
I think that it’s so important for children to be outside and get fresh air and be exposed to the elements. Stanley has recently been diagnosed with Asthma and I think it really helps him to be outside (if it’s not too cold!). Visiting the park is so much fun and can be great exercise for children too!

8. What have been your most fun adventures as a family?
We went on an incredible family holiday to Disney World and Miami last year, which was Stanley’s first holiday abroad. Other fun adventures include exploring the UK and day trips to London, where we also love to find play parks for Stanley.

9. How do you like to spend your downtime together?
We are very much a busy, get up and go family, so if we happen to have an afternoon at home without leaving the house you’ll find us watching one of Stanley’s favourite films, doing some craft or playing with his animal figures.

Stanley in Galaxy shoes

10. With so much outdoor play in your daily routine, what do you look for when it comes to choosing the right footwear for Stanley?
We need solid sturdy shoes for lots of running and climbing, and I love to choose footwear that stands out!

11. What are your favourite shoes from our new spring collection?
I love the new Galaxy pre-school shoes in navy nubuck! They are great for a trip to the park. I also love the look of the new Breeze sandals for summer!

Follow Naomi’s park adventures over on Instagram @norfolkplayparks