Skip to comments.Return of risk: The growing movement to let kids play like kids
Posted on 05/05/2012 6:40:03 AM PDT by Squawk 8888
At first, parents fretted about the rocky hillside.
It screamed danger to some who gathered at a town hall about Lord Selkirk Schools new playground plans three and a half years ago. What if the children were running over the hill, didnt see the rocks and tumbled down, scraping their knees and elbows or worse?
Stormie Duchnycz, principal of the Winnipeg school, and the landscape designer who was working on the plans carefully explained its hidden virtues: The rocky hill would help expose their children to nature, it would be physically challenging and engage the whole of their little bodies. Kids would be aware of their surroundings, but their imaginations would also run wild as they incorporate the rocks into their play.
Knowing full well the negative side effects of too much sitting time and too little stimulation (read: obesity and boredom), parents warmed to the idea and the rocky hill was built. (The school promised to ramp up supervision, casting more adult eyes on the rocky hill and also the wiggle wall made from one-to-two-foot-tall stumps that acts as a kind of balance beam, Ms. Duchnycz said.)
(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalpost.com ...
My little town in Boston Harbor(Winthrop) had a bridge over an inlet as you entered the town. As kids, my brothers and I would stand on the bridge rail and act as tho we lost our balance and would fall into the water. Many a car braked at that! We also would swim with the current from our house to the bridge and then swim against the current back. No one to watch us, and no lifeguards where we swam.
We had a small grove of pine trees and a apple tree (and this was a fairly average sized city lot) in which we used to build forts and teepees and tree houses in the apple tree. Indians lived in the “forest” and we would hunt them, or sometimes we WERE the Indians and we’d set up Indian camps. But the best part was, all that packed-down dirt under the apple tree where no grass would grow was great for playing marbles. Fun stuff! Your childhood sounds like mine.
I love it! “Be careful!” That’s great! Now a days, moms won’t let their kids walk around the block to play with someone or go to school. They have to be driven and picked up. We used to ride our bikes for blocks and blocks trying to get enough kids up for a baseball game. (and I’m a girl!)
We’d sled down the hill behind our school. One weekend afternoon I was sledding alone when I couldn’t turn the sled and ran head-first into a tree.
I walked to the pharmacy which was about 1/2 block away and the pharmacist got me all cleaned up and called my Mom. She picked me up, took me to the dentist, who had to put a cap over the broken tooth (what was left of it). I still have that cap today at 68.
I grew up two blocks from a steel mill near Pittsburgh and we played in the streets every day. When it was suppertime you could hear the mothers yelling out the kid’s names to come home.
I have a fine collection of scars from growing up and actually playing.
Ours was a summer resort town in SE Wisconsin. Most of the year the population was around 2,500, but in Summer it grew to over 10,000. It was a larger area than the smaller figure implies because it straddled two lakes and had numerous summer homes. I knew every street in that sprawling community from riding my bike.
Before moving there, my Mom and I would summer in a smaller lakeside community about 7 miles from there (actually on the opposite side of the hunting area a mentioned earlier). We stayed with my aunt & uncle, Dad taking the train up from Chicago on weekends. I was grade-school age.
I’d almost daily walk down to the lake shore from the house, then around the lake to a tavern. We knew the owner and I’d fish off his pier and swim. He’d keep me in candy and pop, then Dad would pay my tab on the weekend. Those weekends, we’d go to the bar in the evenings. The owner would let me serve beer to my folks and relatives.
Thanks to Elizabeth Dole, if that happened today the barman would be in jail for that. The underage-drinking laws in the US are insane, but that's a topic for a whole 'nother thread.
Your parents deserve a medal. LOL
Well, I wasn’t drinking but I know what you mean. It was simply a place where families would hang out on weekend evenings. Close to home, good stuff on the jukebox, and everyone knew each other. There was a large lawn with oak trees, so during summer people would come to picnic and swim during the daytime. There was also a home near the shoreline that families could rent by the week. But during the week, I was pretty much alone outside unless the house was rented.