Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Let the Little People Play

Michal Eisikowitz

Are the delightfully exhilarating — if a bit dangerous — parks of our youth facing extinction?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

If most of your time at the playground is spent exhorting your six-year-old daughter not to run up slides, you’re not alone. And there’s probably a good reason for her shenanigans: she’s bored. Ever wonder where all the seesaws have gone? The jungle gyms? The tire swings? Playgrounds of the 21st century have undergone total makeovers, resembling little of the intimidating yet enthralling steel structures of our youth. Thanks to increasingly strict regulations and lawsuit-driven concerns, gone are the high slides, merry-go-rounds, firefighter poles, monkey bars, high swing sets, and rolling factory slides. And to a great extent, gone are the challenge, excitement — and fun. Modern playgrounds have gotten lame, says Susan Solomon, author of American Playgrounds and the Science of Play. “They don’t allow kids to take chances. Risk involves uncertain outcomes — going fast, reaching great heights, or even hiding, in order to overcome primal fears and create exhilaration.” Today’s parks are gentrified places, featuring plasticized materials, rounded edges, and super-soft ground surfaces. They are utopia for the toddler and user-friendly to the extreme — but are they cultivating a generation of wimps?

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Not a Newspaper
Shoshana Friedman A deeper difference between newspapers and magazines
Services in Shards
Rabbi Moshe Grylak “Such a painful, malicious lie!”
The Pittsburgh Protests: All Politics All the Time
Yonoson Rosenblum The old rule — “no enemies on the left” — still applies
Danger: School Crossing
Eytan Kobre The hypocrisy of YAFFED’s assertion is breathtaking
Real Laughter and Real Tears
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger The two sides of a life lived with emunah
Work/Life Solutions with Eli Langer
Moe Mernick I was proud to be “that guy with the yarmulke”
Is Ktchong! a Mitzvah? When Prayer and Charity Collide
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman These cannot both be done effectively at the same time
An Honest Shidduch
Jacob L. Freedman “Baruch Hashem I’m cured, and this will be my secret”
A Blessing in Disguise
Riki Goldstein “I never thought the song would catch on as it has”
Ishay and Motti Strike a Common Chord
Riki Goldstein Bringing together two worlds of Jewish music
What’s your favorite Motzaei Shabbos niggun?
Riki Goldstein From the holy and separate back to the mundane
Rightfully Mine
Faigy Peritzman Don’t regret the job you didn’t land; it was never yours
Growing Greener Grass
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Nurture your blessings and watch them blossom
My Way or the High Way
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt We know what we want — but do we know what He wants?