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"Play. That's the best way kids learn -- doing something they enjoy." Trish Thomas, America's Most Playful Family Contest winner
In the United States, a wooden playground is a rare sight to behold. Though kids are naturally drawn to the textured surface and natural feel of wood, safety and maintenance concerns have drawn us toward the bright (some might say garish) allure of plastic.
Not so in Berlin, Germany, where wood dominates many playgrounds. Part-time resident Judith Markoff Hansen was kind enough to share some of the wonderful photos she's snapped while wandering through neighborhoods, mostly in the "old East." Judith says of the city's neighborhood parks:
"All elements of the new Berlin come together here. Young families are flocking to some of the gentrifying old eastern areas and new friendships between parents are being formed. Playgrounds initiate that...and a sense of community."
Of course, friendships and communities are forged on wooden and plastic playgrounds alike. Still, it's hard to look at these photos and not feel a tug of nostalgia. Wood may have its disadvantages, but when it comes to play equipment, its warmth and whimsy remain unmatched.
Photos are by Judith Markoff Hansen, unless otherwise noted.
This isn't the first time we've blogged about Berlin. See other awesome playgrounds in the city.