Playground removes "safety" rules; fun, development and injuries ensue


#1

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#2

And we all know where this is headed.


#3

I bet a lot of these kids will end up being much more adventurous producers than tepid consumers as adults.

The parents of the kid who broke his arm should be awarded some kind of medal for being reasonable, but then again they aren't in the USA where many of us have gone batshit crazy from all the pharmaceuticals overuse, overwork, lack of sleep and nanny-state mentality from decades of conditioning from being raised in schools that act and look more like prisons than learning facilities.


#4

sometimes i like ppl


#5

Well and where you can end up bankrupt because of one broken arm.


#6

So sad and true.


#7

We have a playground a little like that a few hundred metres from our home. It's run by a retired Italian chef and some friends. They mostly build their own playground equipment, so you have weird sculptures and cool treehouses along with the normal swings and slides. Most Wednesdays they have a bonfire, and every Friday everyone makes a meal together. While there are adults supervising the kids, the kids get to prepare food with sharp knives, do basic woodwork with hand tools and build the fire. If you want to fix your bike, they have a room full of tools and spare parts that you can use (that's a bit more off-limits without supervision, as the kids make a mess otherwise). The kids love having so much freedom, and the parents understand that they can't sue or anything if their child gets injured. For some reason, it's all free, despite having staff, events and food provided. I think most of the funding comes from the state, then the rest is provided by the volunteers and donations from parents.


#8

...and they don't have to pay out lawsuits.


#9

I broke my arm on a playground as a kid. Never occurred to my parents to sue. It was my own damn fault.


#10

This reminds me of the "Up" series of documentaries (which I recently rewatched). Each installment ends with a clip of all the 7 year-olds playing at an "adventure playground," which appears to be basically a construction site/refuse dump. It was the most noticeable curiosity of the time period presented in the film (this was 1964 mind you) - I would not have expected to find a similar setup today for all the obvious reasons.


#11

Nine comments down, and nobody's commented about the fact that this guy was given 15 grand to improve the playground. Instead of spending any of that money on playground equipment, he dismantles the existing equipment and scales down monitoring by teachers. This directly leads to a number of injuries, including a broken arm. We still have no idea where this money had gone, although theoretically it's "just resting in his account" as he plans "a bigger project" that will "somehow be resurrected when the project is done". Crowds of admiring parents and bloggers praise him for his sensible approach. This man is an actual marketing genius and is clearly in the wrong profession.


#12

I remember smiler adventure playgrounds in my early youth, by the time I was old enough to use something like that they had all dried up (mid 80's)

I look at modern playgrounds and think how boring they look, where is the tree fort and the BMX track built out of industrial rubble and dirt?.


#13

Kiwis are less litigious, by and large, than Americans,

That's because of ACC, a landmark development of no-fault insurance that has made life a whole lot more rational. Part of the deal was that Kiwis lost the right to sue in a lot of circumstances. Therefore, of course, there is a noisy lobby - composed mostly of Randian fools - scheming to have it dismantled. Pricks.

As an aside, I've anecdotally heard that the combination of numerous skate parks (most towns have at least one) combined with ACC coverage for tourists has made NZ a bit of a destination for skateboarders and the like.

and that they enjoy an excellent national health service

True so of course that too is under severe threat by neo-libs and 'but I'm paying for oncology/maternity/psychiatric/whatever services THAT I'M NOT EVEN USING' idiots.


#14

they may need to consider the ownership of any IP that is invented on said playground smile


#15

Not my kids. Not my money. Not my problem.


#16

Here in Toronto the leading light for sensible human park and playground design and behaviour is the Dufferin Grove Park, where the local residents have consistently pushed back against the dickhead Harrison Bergeron bureaucrats of the city and maintain a most excellent playground which features a massive a sand pit, complete with running water, logs and adult sized shovels and rakes. It is THE BEST. I always took my young son there - he's now in his late teens - and always suffered watching him and the others of his tribe as they moved the heavens and earth, wanting to join in and knowing full well it would be "inappropriate" for an adult to engage in such activity. Lucky bastards.


#17

Oh man the clickbait headline on the original article doesn't even make sense:

Kids had fun but got injured. Anybody who is surprised by this result is being intentionally dense.


#18

Did hot snow also fall up? Because that would be surprising.


#19

Reminds me of this


#20

Yeah, I'm not sure what is surprising about that result. Kids like to play. Some times they get hurt doing so. Insofar as removing all rules I have some doubts, though it's more just what is left unsaid. Some rules are there to keep kids from abusing other kids (not that they don't still do that). Not enough detail is stated for me to assume anything though. Seems to me that kids started playing with what was around them (not surprising) and then ended up having fun (not surprising) but also made some mistakes (not surprising).

I had lots of injuries from play, but not at school. I do recall some one a little older than me telling a story about their elementary school (or some kind of thing camp maybe) where the kids were allowed to actually pry nails out of a tree stump with a hammer.

So many things here jump out at me. For one, learning how to actually do that is probably good for kids. At the same time my friend also said one kid just didn't get the idea and kept yanking only to finally jerk the nail out with so much force he ended up smacking another kid with the hammer (obviously a very different era). The general consensus was that the kid pulling on the nail was being obnoxious though rather than that some one should be sued.

My take was that something like that should probably be more supervised. Not all kids have innate mechanical skills or ability to anticipate things like that. But these days you couldn't even have something like that taught without drama. Seems like there has to be a balance between "who cares, let them do whatever" and "padded cell."

I was pretty scared of EVERYTHING as a kid, but I remember one of my favorite games (which was actually stupidly dangerous) was one we'd do when Girl Scouts got out (would have been on the church playground rather than at our school) as we waited for parents to get us. We'd get in an actual barrel one by one and take turns pushing each other down a slight hill in it. We actually had one of those safe padded playgrounds around. My childhood was full of those. But nothing soft and painted in primary colors could compare to the thrill of losing all sense of orientation and feeling the bizarre effects of physics. Not to mention the adrenaline rush, and the sense of pride one had upon emerging from the barrel alive... especially after that sick "OH GOD NO WHAT HAVE I DONE" moment when you first got in.

I know some one with kids now who was super upset because their child slipped on some ice in front of the school and fell down. No injuries. The kid was more embarrassed by the way their parent reacted than anything. I try to empathize since I don't have kids. I know it must be terrifying because there's always that tiny chance something really awful could happen. But your kid doesn't want to feel that afraid all of the time!