The Politics of Playgrounds, a History. Unless you're a frequent reader of parenting blogs, you might not know there's a major divide in the world of children's playgrounds.
On the one side, you have the safety advocates who want lower structures, softer ground, and less opportunities for falling off or over, well, anything. On the other, those who worry that a safe playground is a boring playground that will do little to stimulate a child's imagination. The debate can seem quite technical – should playgrounds have foam floors, or wood chips? What would be better for the 5-year-olds who tumble off the monkey bars? Should there even be monkey bars, or is that just asking for trouble?
The debate has a very 21st century feel to it but it’s actually nothing new – these types of questions have been asked for at least a century. Schemas in Children’s Play - N a t u r e P l a y. 5 ways to let a little more risk into your child’s day (and why that’s a good thing) By Lauren Knight January 16 Milo on the swings.
(Lauren Knight) “That is just not safe,” mumbles the father and only other parent at a playground I frequent with my three boys. He says it to no one in particular, just loud enough for me to hear the disapproval in his voice, but not loud enough to directly confront me about my seven-year-old son’s choice of play. My son is, quite impressively, standing on a large saucer swing and pumping his body side to side, bending his knees at all the right times and leaning into the motion to perfect the highest possible movement on the structure.
Emil climbing. I smile politely and make eye contact, assuring the stressed man that I am aware of my son’s actions and moreover, I approve. Tim Gill: Bred in captivity. Every year since 1979 there has been a Big Garden Bird Watch, a nationwide survey organised by the RSPB.
But I can't help contemplating a survey of a different species: a Big Outdoor Child Watch. I know only too well what it would find. Chicks are now pretty much extinct, outside their own nest areas and a shrinking number of poorly maintained reserves. Juveniles, common in the 1970s, declined in numbers throughout the 1980s and are now rarely seen away from their parents, except in impoverished areas. And adolescents, though not yet endangered, are seen as pests and controlled accordingly. The ecology of children apparently being less interesting than that of birds, there is little hard data around. Taking an ecological perspective not only dramatises these childhood changes, it also sheds light on their consequences. The outdoor child: doomed to extinction? Every year since 1979 there has been a Big Garden Bird Watch, a UK-wide survey organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
I can’t help wondering about a survey of a different species: a Big Outdoor Child Watch. We can be fairly sure what it would find. Chicks are now pretty much extinct, outside their own nest areas and a small number of reserves. Juveniles – a common sight up until the 1970s – declined in numbers throughout the 1980s and are now rarely seen away from their parents. And adolescents, though not yet endangered, are seen as pests and controlled accordingly. The natural history of children is apparently less noteworthy than that of birds.
The shrinking horizons of childhood Do not underestimate the significance of this change. Taking an ecological perspective dramatizes these childhood changes. How relevant is this to our own species, you may ask? The shrinking horizons of childhood are, in part, a side effect of wider social changes. K%20Martin%202011%20Electronic%20Overload%20DSR%20(2) Doc-534-climbing-trees-research-report-2011-06-22-final. Wells%20Nature%20and%20the%20Life%20Course. Can a Playground Be Too Safe? “I grew up on the monkey bars in Fort Tryon Park, and I never forgot how good it felt to get to the top of them,” Mr.
Stern said. “I didn’t want to see that playground bowdlerized. I said that as long as I was parks commissioner, those monkey bars were going to stay.” His philosophy seemed reactionary at the time, but today it’s shared by some researchers who question the value of safety-first playgrounds. Even if children do suffer fewer physical injuries — and the evidence for that is debatable — the critics say that these playgrounds may stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears that are ultimately worse than a .
“Children need to encounter risks and overcome fears on the playground,” said Ellen Sandseter, a professor of at Queen Maud University in Norway. After observing children on playgrounds in Norway, England and Australia, Dr. “Climbing equipment needs to be high enough, or else it will be too boring in the long run,” Dr. Ben delaney - On Kids and How to Help Them Grow. This morning a friend sent me an article on kids in Switzerland and how they are treated so much differently than their American counterparts.
I love this part: Saws. The kind you buy at the hardware store to cut wood. That’s what the play-group teacher dumped on the ground for 3- and 4-year-old kids to play with. Knowing that doing this, in the U.S., would result in the teacher being, at minimum, fired and most likely charged with child endangerment, I had visions of emergency room trips and severed limbs dancing through my mind.
Risk and Reward in Nature Play. By Ken Finch, Green Hearts “Risk averse” barely seems to do justice to the expansive fears of our modern American society.