Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Best Playground Ever

The best playground I frequented as a kid was the one behind the elementary school I attended.  I thought I was pretty lucky because I got to play on it every day at recess.  There were multiple structures made up of wooden poles, boards, and old tires.  I climbed, swung, and ran until the bell rang, squeezing in one last big push before hopping off a swing, or one more race over the "mountain" on the way back to the building, just to feel that freedom of being perched high above everyone else for a moment.  I recall decompressing on especially busy days at school by just lying in the hole of a big tire swing, and watching the clouds drift by.

My favorite playground was torn down years ago, not too long after I moved out of my parents' house to live on my own.  Playgrounds constructed with tires and wood are not easy to find these days, especially after people began to worry about safety issues and lasting materials.  I have found some newer playgrounds that are great, but the nostalgia and magic of what I grew up with is more exciting to me than the similar looking plastic models I've found.

There is one park I take my boys to the most, partly because it's close to our house, partly because there are always other kids there to play with, and partly because of its uniqueness.  It's new-ish, and built with sturdy materials, but it has three stories, six slides of varying grades and length, and at least a dozen different ways to climb up or across it.  It's not your "average" playground, and I have yet to be told "I'm bored" when we go there.  We all love it.

Recently I ran across some pictures of playgrounds in a few neighboring towns and fell head over heels in love with one that reminds me of the playground I grew up with, tires and all.  We went on a hunt for this playground, and I climbed almost as much as my five year old did that day. It had so many hiding spots, secret passages, and tires to bounce on that we didn't want to leave, an entirely different play experience from our usual place.  It's a new favorite and we can't wait to go back.

What makes a great playground?  Is it the physical challenges it offers?

Is it the material it's made of?

Is it the feeling that it gives you?  Is it the variety that it has?  Is it the beauty or uniqueness it brings?

Go on a playground hunt with your kids.  What features or favorite things do you look for?  Explore the playgrounds in the towns around where you live or travel.  Whether it's the fastest slide, the highest spot, the shadiest seat, the biggest swing, or the coolest looking merry-go-round you've ever seen, find what you love and share it with us.  Take a picture and share it on Instagram at #thebestplaygroundever.  You may help someone discover a new place to play.  Happy climbing!

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  1. This is very sweet. My kiddos LOVE the playground. Can't wait for warmer weather to play there more often! I would love for you to link your post up to my Thursday link party. Hope to see you there!

    1. Thank you Angela, "see" you at the playground! ;)

  2. Visiting from Tuesday Tots. My Family-Focused Monday hop is live now and I would love to see one of your awesome posts linked up @

    Have a wonderful week.

  3. Great idea. I'll have to join in on Instagram and see the playground people are loving. Thanks for sharing at the Outdoor Play Party.

    1. It's a small start but they are pretty awesome!

  4. Thanks for inspiring us to go on a playground hunt! Now we have the perfect place to play for the Summer :) We wrote about it and linked back to this post. Krissy


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