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 ...
I still can’t get over seeing kids on bikes wearing helmets.
That sounds like the neigbourhood I grew up in. There was a huge park behind my house that was kept a wilderness and we would be in it for hours on end. We would also build forts into the hillside.
Same here. I have a scar on my leg from the time I went sailing off my bike and came down on the edge of a low fence. Memories, LOL. I lived. Nowadays if that happened, the kid would be shut inside until he turned 18.
Kids can’t play as kids anymore. Now they need adults to supervise their play, organize it, act as referee. Stupid.
The over abundance of safety is another leech sucking the life blood out of the taxpayers. The city near me wants 6 figures to repave a bike path across town and they call it a safety issue.
When I was a kid I rode my bike on the driveway and around the yard. When I got older I rode on the dirt roads for miles.
We are in pretty much the same place here. I used to love the “merry go round” - they got rid of so many of those.
I wonder what kids do, wandering around at recess, with nothing to occupy them except the occaisional baseball game that only the “big kids” probably get to play in. It’s an unnatural environment, like sticking a bunch of kids in cages. We don’t do this to our zoo animals, yet it’s “normal” for kids?
What do zoo animals do? They “worry” physical things, pick on themselves and others. And kids?
In winter we would look for the most dangerous looking hill we could find for sledding.
We had a county hunting area about 5 miles from home. In the summer when there was no hunting, we’d either hike or ride our bikes there. The bikes weren’t the variable speed bikes of today (the most advanced bike I had was a 3-speed and that was just before driving). So, we’d leave them at the end of the dirt road and hike. We’d sometimes carry a small backpack and sleeping bag, and stay the night, or, at times, over the weekend. We’d generally have the place to ourselves and knew every square inch of that area (it was at least 1 x1 mile in size). I’d simply tell mom what we were going to do and get a “Be careful” in response.
bike mounted ravine jumping,
Out all day in -10 F weather
jumping sleds and tobaggans
Barrel rolling sleds while in the air
3 years ago we met a young family, the older girl was 5, the boy 7, the girl was showing me each tool of her (very dull) pocketknife. When she got to the cork screw she paused a second, looked intently at it and said it was a post hole digger.
They are 8 and 10 now and the boy drives tractor and really works on the farm. They got motorcycles for all the work they did last summer.
We lived on the edge of a small town with a farm kitty-corner on a hill across the road. The hill had a large area excavated out of one side that was maybe 100' deep. I had a pair of skis with the old toe/heel straps. We'd take them up to the top of the cliff in winter and ski down into it at speed. Crazy, but was it fun!
I grew up in NYC doing the exact same thing!
It pains me to see swimming pools with removed diving boards.
We would do that as well, and because the sun went down before 6pm we’d be doing it in the dark. We would also ride our toboggans like a surfboard, decades before the snowboard was invented.
Interesting bit of trivia- the actor Enrico Colantoni (lead alien in Galaxy Quest) broke his leg while toboganning on a hill at the end of my street and was laid up for a few months.
We used to mix the Kool Aid powder with the sugar and eat it out of our filthy hands, nope we never washed them unless Mom was right there insisting.
Bill Cosby has a great routine about living as a kid in the city. The one on football is hilarious.
Kids used to have fun!! When I was 6 years old, my older sister and I got our first pairs of skis for Christmas. Hey, we had to try them out right away, so we climbed, unsupervised, OMG! up to the top of the barn roof, strapped the skis on and down we went. We hit the ground coming off the back of the barn roof at a 45 degree angle and both sets of skis snapped cleanly in half.
Another Christmas, I got a play set of tools, hand say, hammer, etc. Christmas night I proceeded to saw my bunk bed into pieces suitable for kindling.
Ahhhhhhhhhh....those were the days.
That’s it??!! That’s the rock strewn hillside where danger lies and a life threatening terrain in every step. Bwahahahaha. In my youth this was called our backyard.
Corollary: "You can't find something to do? I'll find you something to do!"
Sheesh, the last thing we wanted back then was for Mom to find us something do to ... that nearly always meant extra chores.
Could be of interest to homeschoolers.