Recently we went to a little playground. There really wasn’t much there and it was geared for the 2-5 crowd (my youngest is 5). My kids were the only ones there, so they entertained themselves by doing all the things that were against the rules. They didn’t even know they were not playing the way they should – they were just playing, having fun, being kids.
Seriously, there were a lot of rules for that little playground – some of the stuff they don’t even have there. Vertical ladders and whirls (if there weren’t pictures, I would’ve been clueless!)? What’s wrong with monkey bars and merry-go-rounds? Tell me why you can’t swing an empty swing? I think they forgot one rule under swings – don’t jump off a moving swing (surely that’s more dangerous then swinging an emtpy swing?). What kid doesn’t love to climb up a slide or slide down backwards or *gasp* head first??
I understand that if there were a lot of kids there, the rules are to help make it safe, but still, that’s a lot of rules. It seems that if people used common sense, it would go a long ways. Teaching kids some basic rules – like watch out for the little kids (I’m constantly reminding them of this), My kids know they can climb up a slide only if no one is waiting to go down. They’re taught that pushing and shoving are not acceptable. Hurrying someone up the ladder is a no-no. Going down the slide before the person at the bottom gets out the way is off limits (well, if it’s a sibling, then maybe it’s OK…).
In my world playgrounds are for having fun, trying new stuff (my youngest shimmies upÂ swingset poles), and not always following the rules. What about you?