Is play in the United States too risk-adverse? That was the question posed on Friday by our VP of Program Management, Kate Becker, who wrote about touring playgrounds in the UK. It generated quite a discussion, with many waxing nostalgic for the “good old days.”
KaBOOM! Facebook fan Nicole Fleming commented, “I remember a park I went to when I was little—there were pieces of wood nailed together with tires, bridges that swayed and shook, and rocks (real ones!) that you climbed on and jumped off.”
A fellow fan, Colleen Greco Trovato, echoed the sentiment: “My personal swingset lifted out of the gravel with each push from below as we always aimed to touch the sky or do a loop. I got my fingers twisted in the chains and I swung on the monkey bars only to hit the screws that stuck out. The joy and thrill of it all.”
Have we in the United States lost sight of the delicate balance between safety and risk? And in so doing, have we sacrificed that element of inspiration that can make playgrounds so memorable?
In many of London’s playgrounds, whimsy abounds:
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground (also pictured above):
Know of a whimsical playground? Tell us about it!