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July 25, 2005

The abandoned playgrounds

I occasionally take the kids to a playground in the course of the day. There are none within walking distance of our house, so I'll take them to others in different neighborhoods. One thing I've invariably noticed is that there's rarely any kids in them! My memory is hazy, but I seem to recall the playgrounds of my youth bustling with kids. Now they seem like abandoned ruins from another age.

Reasons for this? I dunno. There's the obvious society's-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket explanation that kids don't play outside anymore and prefer to sit in front of their home entertainment systems and blow things up. I'm sure that's part of it. But other things have changed as well. Parents don't let their kids go off by themselves the way they used to. Lots of people with kids build their own playground in their yards so they don't have to leave home.

It's too bad. Pick-up play with other kids is important. Seeing other kids is important. It would be nice if parents could take their kids out in public more often. (I'm not saying I do this enough, either.)

And though I rarely see kids in parks, I sure see lots of people walking their dogs. Is there something happening here?

Posted by Bruce Gottfred at July 25, 2005 01:17 PM | TrackBack

Try Central Park in New York! You have to line up for swings at peak hours. Plus there always seems to be a few tiny kids whose parents have apparently taken advantage of the crowds and snuck off, hopefully temporarily.

Usually more nannies and daddies than moms, too, for some reason.

Posted by: alexa at July 26, 2005 04:44 PM
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