Dear Kids – Plastic Dystopia, Or Where Have All the Wooden Playgrounds Gone?

Dear Kids,

Once upon a time there were playgrounds built of wood. They were built like towers with platform upon platform creating abundant nooks and crannies to hide in…from your mother. The wood was worn to a shine in every place except that one spot where you just put your hand – that spot had splinters. They made a satisfying ‘thump thump thump’ when you ran across them. You could climb from the ground all the way to the top – the curiously high, pointed tower – without actually going inside the structure. They were slippery when wet and scorching hot on all the metal parts that held them together. They were stupidly dangerous and they were AWESOME!

Parents, apparently, hated them. Now we have plastic playgrounds on top of foam pads. There are no “unsafe” nooks and crannies. If you fall off the “top” (you consider that high up??) you will merely bounce back up. There are no corners, no splinters, no dirt. Where’s the fun in that??

Kids need more dirt in their diets…


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