Monday, June 30, 2008

Old Playgrounds = New Experiences

Where we live our children are blessed to play on the latest, newest, safest playground equipment. There are monkey rings and spider web climbers, zip lines, rock climbing walls, roller slides, and tons of fun play stuff. When we moved into our house five years ago the nearest playground at the grade school was undergoing a complete overhaul. Since then other parks in the area have been redone too.

I appreciate all this new equipment. I'm glad my kids can have the best of what's out there. But until this past weekend when they got to play on a hopelessly outdated playground at our campground, I didn't realize what they were missing.

Remember the merry-go-round? Not the carousel type with horses that go up and down. I'm talking about the circular platform with metal bars that is kid-powered. Or how about the seesaw/teeter totter, which is basically a wooden board with two handles that rests on a bar? Aside from the monkey bars those had been my favorite parts of our park when I was growing up. We'd play this game on the merry-go-round that involved trying to keep your balance while standing in the middle as the other kids spun like crazy. And I remember sitting endlessly on the seesaw, just floating up and down while a friend and I ate popsicles and chatted and played make-believe.

Those things no longer exist on modern playgrounds. They're considered dangerous. Oh heck, they are dangerous...but fun! Well, my kids got their first taste of a merry-go-round this weekend. And they learned about centrifugal force when their friends' dad showed them how to lean outward and then pull in to the center to speed up the rotation. And one of their friends learned the necessity of hanging on (at least I think he did, after being flung off more than once).

There weren't any seesaws there. But now I'm on the lookout for them. I've realized what I'm missing about our playgrounds. Never mind my kids, they're safer without these things. But me? I'm just yearning for another chance to float up and down on a seesaw while chatting with a friend -- and getting a good leg workout in the process.

6 musings:

breaths of the heart said...

Stumbled upon your blog through So You Want to Be Published and I love it! I totally agree that playgrounds these days just aren't what they used to be! How can my child live without ever being on a see saw :)

Beth said...

Those really were the good old days, weren't they?

Llama Momma said...

Those are the best playgrounds...the old ones! We visited missionary friends recently and the old "missionary apartment building" they were staying at included one of these old playgrounds. The noisy boys loved it...especially the merry go round!

A Musing Mom said...

Breaths of the heart - thanks for coming by. So glad you like it here.

Beth - now we know why older folks are always saying those kind of things, huh?

LM - glad your kids got to experience it.

Wouldn't it be fun to have a list of where all those playgrounds were so you could stop by and visit when you were nearby? Then again, I'd fear publicizing it because somebody would be bound to make it their mission to update them.

Guess we'll just have to make the most of those times when we happen on one!

L.L. Barkat said...

This Fall, my kids are going to spend two days a week at a "farm school" to supplement our homeschool experience. The farm is fully sustainable.

So. Guess what they have? A seesaw that is harnessed to provide pumping power to fill irrigation barrels. Isn't that cool? And it's safe too. Whoever designed it used pieces of old tires to create a "suspension system" underneath each seat. No dangerous descents that end with a tragic crash on the bottom. I love it. (Um, yes, I played on it. :)

Kelley said...

Lara,
I was so excited to see a comment from you on my blog! I loved being in your evaluation group at She Speaks. You have an amazing testimony and I have thought about you often since you spoke about it. I just want you to know I think you are an awesome girl who is going to be used by God in HUGE ways. He thinks you are BEAUTIFUL and I do too!!

Love,
Kelley