Friends in play, we are gathered here today to mourn the imminent passing of three dearly beloved playground slides. As longtime residents of Union Grove, Wis., these slides have brought joy to countless children who have reveled in their thrillingly tall ladders and periliously long snouts.
Alas, tomorrow's children will never enjoy such singular pleasures. In the name of safety (and, ahem, liability), the insurance company of Union Grove is seeing to it that our eccentric, rickety friends meet their demise.
Though not everyone is mourning the passing of our dearly beloved slides, even they admit that "kids are going to be sad." As are we. Not just for the children of Union Grove but for children the world over who are forced to contend with shorter, stouter, yawn-inducing slides. Tall slides of Union Grove, and tall slides everywhere, you will be dearly missed. Friends in play, we invite you to pay your respects in the "Comments" section below.
We are gathered here today to mourn the premature passing of Narelle Street tree house in North Bondi, Australia. For eight precious years, the tree house offered children their own leafy haven, refusing entrance to grown-ups “at any time.” On its well-worn wooden platform, children shared secrets, explored the natural world, and delegated responsibilities as kings and queens of the forest.
The Waverly Council deemed the Narelle Street tree house a danger to children, not because it had hurt anyone, but because it failed to meet “council standards.” Parents in the community heroically stepped up to rescue it from imminent demolition. Alas, their efforts were in vain. The tree house fell victim to the over-regulation and worst-first thinking that has plagued so many other play structures before it. It met its early demise in the name of children’s safety, and yet we must ask ourselves if its absence will only hurt children more.
Friends and fellow play advocates, please join us in paying tribute to the beloved Narelle Street Tree House as we grieve its premature passing.
Pay your respects at our other virtual funerals.
We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of Cabell County’s much beloved swing sets. They will be dearly missed. Year after year, these swing sets have exhilarated the children of southern West Virgina while promoting their perceptual skills, spatial awareness, general fitness, social interaction, and sensory integration.
Cabell County’s swings never meant to harm anyone. It is true that children sometimes liked to jump off them, thinking they were Superman, and that one such child broke his arm, perhaps due in part to inadequate safety surfacing. Yet we cannot help but lament the tragic decision made by this youngster’s parents to file a lawsuit, thus depriving all Cabell County youngsters of the chance to develop crucial skills, not to mention the chance to touch the sky with their toes.
Friends and fellow play advocates, please join us in paying tribute to Cabell County's swing sets as we grieve their premature passing.
UPDATE: Cabell County's swings may rise from the dead! The removal was halted by the state because of a state law that requires elementary schools to have swing sets. However, the swing seats and chains are being stored elsewhere until the district is able to address safety surfacing issues. Here's hoping they will be resuscitated soon.