Increase in lawsuits, decrease in seesaws. Simple math. ;-)
First thing that came to mind....
BIll Cosby - Playground
“.....and then came....the ‘Monkey Bars’............”
I think seesaws along with corndogs deserve to be consigned to the dust heap of history along with petrocks.
Some of the best childhood injuries came from see saws.
And who can forget the asphalt playgrounds?
The article makes a point that the absence of physically risky activity might be the reason for obesity in children.
That’s possible. As a child I walked everywhere until I received a bicycle for my birthday (12th). We really did walk to school, to the beach and climbed trees in the woods, stringing swings over deep gullies. All day long we were absorbed in some form of physical activity. Horses, were de rigeur - but we had to clean tack, take the herd to pasture, muck out stables and give riding lessons to earn privileges. I feel so blessed that my childhood was in the golden age.
I always liked see-saws. And swinging as high as I could and jumping off the swing. Those monkey bars got really slippery after they had been worn in good.
The see-saw is the cruellest ride.
It tricks you with the upward glide.
The person on the other side
You fall and smack your cheeky hide.
One or two kids with permanent spinal injuries, and they have to spoil the fun for everyone.
I still know quite a few places that still have seesaws. Merry-go-rounds, otoh, are harder to find.
and a swimming pool.
Ah, the good old days. We had asphalt on the part of our playground where we played Red Rover and I had forever scabby knees until the age of 11. And I never see any kids climbing trees any more, playing kick the can, tag, stick ball, cowboys and Indians or hide-and-seek along with the loud cry of alle, alle, outs in free!
Don’t forget riding bikes and sleds without wearing a dorky helmet......
We found a local school playground (Lynnwood, IL) that not only has real see saws, but also a VERY high STRAIGHT sliding board with a nice hot metal surface. We take our kids there regularly. One of these days I’ll pick up a roll of waxed paper (another disappearing piece of Americana) and show’em how to REALLY fly down that sliding board.
And let's not forget that they also required... TRUST. Seesaw partners that thought it was funny to leap/slide off causing you to smash to the ground were unwelcome. You always had to be wary for such an occurrence. Part of the challenge.
I certainly remember seesaws from circa 1960, and they were monsters! Thick planks with a row of “teeth” in the middle, consisting of a pair of racks running along the edges at the center, each with 3 or 5 semicircular fittings that matched the 4” diameter pipe that was the fulcrum. It had a heavy chain slung under the pipe, which kept it confined to the general area. Of course, you were supposed to be able to adjust the fulcrum so a lighter child could seesaw with a heavier child.
At about ten years of age, we were more interested in creative abuse. We used to slam the seesaw to the ground to make it rebound against the chain, in hopes it might break. Also balancing on it like a surf board, leaping off it, etc.
These days it’s hard to even comprehend all that.
Thanks, Fiji Hill, for posting an item that brought back old memories from my childhood.
Elementary school in the early 1950s included ferocious dodge ball in the gym when it was cold or raining outside. Results = bloody noses and busted lips.
In good weather, it might have been kick ball (not soccer), where the boys were about evenly divided between two sides. There were no position players or goalies. The two sides just ran at one another like a scene out of “Brave Heart”, with boys getting knocked down and bloodied, as each side tried to score a goal.
After school, the gym coach would check out equipment for us to play basketball, baseball or soccer. There was also a very large front lawn area in front of the school and kids (boys and girls) would divide into two groups of about 25 each and play Red Rover. Many prior disputes were addressed during Red Rover, as specific individuals were subjected to punishment in the game and, again, there were bloody noses and lips.
Swings were meant to test one’s guts. We tried to see if we could swing as high as the crossbar and then bail out onto the gravel below (this was to gain status, you know). Monkey bars (not the PC “jungle gyms”) were called that because us little kids climbing around on them resembled the monkies at the zoos. The merry-go-round was our way of getting temporarily “high”, as kids would take turn running as fast as possible to spin the thing and make every kid hanging on as dizzy as possible.
Kids that grew up in that free environment without all of the law suits, political correctness and nanny state BS that exists today GREW UP TOUGH and better suited to deal with adverse conditions than the kids of the past few decades.
Of course, that last paragraph is just my personal opinion.
The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.