The Overprotected Kid
A trio of boys tramps along the length of a wooden fence, back and forth, shouting like carnival barkers. “The Land! It opens in half an hour.” Down a path and across a grassy square, 5-year-old Dylan can hear them through the window of his nana’s front room. He tries to figure out what half an hour is and whether he can wait that long. When the heavy gate finally swings open, Dylan, the boys, and about a dozen other children race directly to their favorite spots, although it’s hard to see how they navigate so expertly amid the chaos. It’s still morning, but someone has already started a fire in the tin drum in the corner, perhaps because it’s late fall and wet-cold, or more likely because the kids here love to start fires. The Land is an “adventure playground,” although that term is maybe a little too reminiscent of theme parks to capture the vibe. The playgrounds were novel, but they were in tune with the cultural expectations of London in the aftermath of World War II.
Related: Risk & Challenge on the Playground
• Interesting Articles about Parenting