Monday, November 9, 2009

You'll Never See an Epic Playground Like This Again...

When my family and I went to Disney World for the first time in the Summer of 1980, we stayed in a hotel called "The Dutch Inn", and they had this playground, which I thought was the most spectacular playground that I had ever been on!
It's sad, but because of today's super-safety conscious society, our kids will never know the joy of a playground like this. Nowadays, everything is covered in ugly, dayglo padding, and you'll never see a slide more than four feet off the ground! When we were kids, we knew that a metal slide was gonna be hot in the summer, we knew that if we were brave enough to jump from the top of the jungle gym and we DIDN'T break a leg, we might not be as lucky if we tried it again. We didn't wear bike helmets and yet our skulls did not split open, we didn't have nets and padding enclosing our trampolines; Hell, jumping off into the grass was half the fun! And how many of you can honestly say that after watching "Mary Poppins", you didn't try jumping off your roof with an umbrella?
One of my fondest memories as a child was getting together with my friends and making go-carts out of whatever we could find ala "The Little Rascals", and then finding the biggest hill to test them on. Our kids, for the most part, are discouraged from these type of creative activities, for fear of being hurt. I firmly believe that this is an intregal part of the learning process; if we built a cart, raced it down a hill until a wheel pops off and we do a face plant in the dirt, we knew we had to go back and improve our design. I know I'm ranting, but it just really bugs me! My wife and I are constantly at odds when it comes to stuff like this; I think she's over-cautious, and she thinks I'm too reckless. Heck, I'm just delighted if they're getting away from the video games and going outside! OK - rant done; please go about your day.


  1. I doubt the playground erectors are actually concerned about childrens safety, but more concerned about getting sued.