Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trying Out The New Playground

Our town as a brand new playground.  It's at a baseball field not too far from our house and it is built in a spot where a different playground once lived.  We used to go to the original playground all the time when the children were little.  When we first moved to town, the playground was a wooden maze with 2-story plastic climbing tubes and rubber tire bridges.  The park was a child's dream and a parent's nightmare.  Once the child had climbed up the swinging tire entry (falling through multiple times and scrapping limbs against the tire chains) they were free to run along structure, stopping to fall periodically through those 2-story plastic climbing tubes which were meant as a way up to the second level, but acted instead as a dangerous, rapid-fire way down.  My poor mother-in-law learned this the hard way while playing with Georgia at the park, and I'm pretty sure she's still emotionally scarred from the experience.  God forbid your child needed help once they got to the top level -- there weren't any steps or parental access points.  If a child was stuck at the top level, his mother had to climb those tires bridges herself just to reach her distressed child.... and since most of us were pregnant periodically during these years, you can imagine the difficulty (and the lack of grace).

A few years ago, our town got federal (or state?) funds to widen the river that runs alongside this playground of horrors and the construction crew used the playground area as it's staging area.  And while the river was expanded (to prevent serious flooding), parents began a fund-drive to build a new, better and safer playground for the children.

Fastforwarded a year or two and the new playground is finally up and running.  Henry and Georgia are not really playground age anymore, but Josie wanted to give the new equipment a try.  So during April vacation, she and I walked down the hill for a good play.

Georgia joined us because she is nice that way (and who doesn't want to christen a playground?).

Much of the play equipment is geared for the very little child.  

The Eight Year Old Josephine was perhaps a little large for the bouncy elephant.

But she did really like the spiderweb:

and the tire swing.

I think the highlight of the new park is this spinning thing-a-ma-jig:

Both girls spun until they were dizzy.

There are also some pretty cool instruments strewn around the park:

There was a noticeable absence of dangerous climbing tubes and that was just fine.

Georgia - and her bones - thank the playground planners for that:

And I thank the planners for only using the tires as swings and not swinging stair cases:

We didn't stay long at the new park.  We decided to leave the playground to the tiny citizens who really needed the space:

But we gave it six thumbs up.  Job well done, town!

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