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Return of risk: The growing movement to let kids play like kids
National Post ^ | May 4, 2012 | Sarah Boesveld

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 School’s new playground plans three and a half years ago. What if the children were running over the hill, didn’t 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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
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1 posted on 05/05/2012 6:40:05 AM PDT by Squawk 8888
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To: Squawk 8888

LOL...you have to go to the photo to see how pathetic Canada has become. That these smooth stones should be considered by any nanny stater as “dangerous” for pre-teen children is ridiculous. Real children seem to seek out much more dangerous pursuits than this.


2 posted on 05/05/2012 6:50:54 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Squawk 8888
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
3 posted on 05/05/2012 6:52:03 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Squawk 8888

Just spent most of the last week in Canada. VERY nice people; Vancouver is gorgeous. Clean.

...but omg what a bunch of wimps. Don’t get me started....


4 posted on 05/05/2012 6:52:12 AM PDT by RightOnline (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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To: Squawk 8888

We meet with large groups of home schoolers where the eleven year old boys, are you ready for this, carry pocket knives. They go to the state park and play “Capture the Flag” out in the open woods. The children get knees scraped and bumps and bruises.


5 posted on 05/05/2012 6:53:32 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: Squawk 8888
Send me out to a rocky hill? Expose me to nature? Physically challenge me? Engage the whole of my little body? Let my imagination run wild as I "incorporate the rocks into my play"?

Have you lost your effin' mind? Move it! You're blockin' the view.


6 posted on 05/05/2012 6:53:45 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Squawk 8888

Free-range children?!? Oh, the humanity.....

I am so thankful I grew up in a time when mothers said, “Get out of the house and don’t come back until the streetlights come on!”


7 posted on 05/05/2012 6:53:53 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: txrefugee

They make it sound like children playing on the side of a cliff like El Capitan. LOL


8 posted on 05/05/2012 6:54:35 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Squawk 8888

My grandfather told me stories when he was a kid in New York City playing stickball in the streets dodging cars and such.


9 posted on 05/05/2012 6:57:26 AM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: RightOnline

My daughter lives in Vancouver. She’s out about every weekend backcountry snowshoeing, skiing Whistler, hiking the local parks, going up the the Joffre Lakes, going to Tofino on Vancouver Island, mountain biking just north of the city, kayaking on the Sound. You can’t keep her and her friends inside. All the young adults she hangs out with live similar lives...not sure where you saw the wimps.


10 posted on 05/05/2012 6:58:01 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Squawk 8888

Isn’t this stupid? I don’t know how I survived my youth.

Were it not for the damn lawyers and gold digging parents and the hover round parents this would not be a problem.


11 posted on 05/05/2012 6:58:25 AM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: cripplecreek

When I was a kid we’d play at dodging arrows. We’d play “King of the mountain” and it was rough. We’d climb trees, dive into water holes, and slide down cliffs. I can’t recall any of us getting really hurt beyond the usual scrapes and bruises. But we sure had fun...


12 posted on 05/05/2012 6:58:25 AM PDT by bcsco
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To: Squawk 8888

That evokes a fond memory for me. In the early to mid-60’s, we used to go to this vacant lot, a ravine of sorts a few blocks away from my street, that we would climb for hours, traversing it by holding on to various tree roots and branches, looking for the next footing, and and also climbing up and down it. We were in the wilderness searching for civilization! Sometimes we were escaping from the bad guys. We would stand on the ridge and try to figure how we’d get to the other side by going around the sides of it. That lot was all dirt and rocks and roots and trees but it was the coolest.


13 posted on 05/05/2012 7:01:10 AM PDT by FrdmLvr (culture, language, borders)
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To: RightOnline
...forgot to mention the hikes they take to the top of Squamish's 2300 ft "Stawamus Chief," the second-largest granite monolith in the world:


14 posted on 05/05/2012 7:02:33 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Squawk 8888

I don’t think I remember a week of my childhood without scabs on my knees or elbows. No broken bones and none of this “safety crap”. Just learning how to live.


15 posted on 05/05/2012 7:03:36 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Squawk 8888

Was so proud of my 18 month old, she got her first skinned knee yesterday running in the yard! No skinned knees, no adventures!


16 posted on 05/05/2012 7:06:07 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: Bryanw92

We had six kids in our family, and my mother would dress us up in snowsuits and make us play outside all day. I remember standing under the kitchen window pleading to come in, and her face would appear telling us to stay out and play!


17 posted on 05/05/2012 7:09:31 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The safest road to Hell is the gradual one." Screwtape (C.S. Lewis))
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To: Cvengr

Hahaha...I still bear the scars on the inside and outside of each elbow, courtesy of a skateboard I created by stealing my sister’s metal rolling skate, taking it apart and nailing each end to the front and back of a board.

LOL...learning bad engineering at a young age!


18 posted on 05/05/2012 7:12:07 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The safest road to Hell is the gradual one." Screwtape (C.S. Lewis))
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To: rlmorel

Same here, but it was 98 degrees with the full Florida sun, and she’d tell us to drink from the hose and she’ll make us a pitcher of Kool-Aid when she finishes vacuuming.

Kool-Aid...with a cup of SUGAR! But we weren’t obese. Oh yeah!


19 posted on 05/05/2012 7:12:48 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: SkyDancer

In Canada, we played hockey in the middle of the street. All hell broke loose here in Toronto when city council tried to ban it.


20 posted on 05/05/2012 7:13:24 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: cripplecreek

I still can’t get over seeing kids on bikes wearing helmets.


21 posted on 05/05/2012 7:14:45 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: FrdmLvr

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.


22 posted on 05/05/2012 7:16:06 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: Cvengr

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.


23 posted on 05/05/2012 7:16:53 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: Squawk 8888

Kids can’t play as kids anymore. Now they need adults to supervise their play, organize it, act as referee. Stupid.


24 posted on 05/05/2012 7:17:39 AM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: CatherineofAragon

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.


25 posted on 05/05/2012 7:21:37 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Squawk 8888

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?


26 posted on 05/05/2012 7:25:42 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: rlmorel

In winter we would look for the most dangerous looking hill we could find for sledding.


27 posted on 05/05/2012 7:28:25 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: FrdmLvr

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.


28 posted on 05/05/2012 7:32:20 AM PDT by bcsco
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To: Squawk 8888

Cliff climbing,
Tree climbing,
bike mounted ravine jumping,
Out all day in -10 F weather
jumping sleds and tobaggans
Barrel rolling sleds while in the air
swimming holes.


29 posted on 05/05/2012 7:35:10 AM PDT by buffaloguy (uab.)
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To: raybbr

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.


30 posted on 05/05/2012 7:36:52 AM PDT by tiki
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To: cripplecreek
In winter we would look for the most dangerous looking hill we could find for sledding.

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!

31 posted on 05/05/2012 7:37:01 AM PDT by bcsco
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To: SkyDancer
My grandfather told me stories when he was a kid in New York City playing stickball in the streets dodging cars and such.

I grew up in NYC doing the exact same thing!

32 posted on 05/05/2012 7:38:59 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: rlmorel

It pains me to see swimming pools with removed diving boards.


33 posted on 05/05/2012 7:41:15 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: cripplecreek

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.


34 posted on 05/05/2012 7:41:40 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: Bryanw92

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.


35 posted on 05/05/2012 7:45:00 AM PDT by tiki
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To: Gabz

Bill Cosby has a great routine about living as a kid in the city. The one on football is hilarious.


36 posted on 05/05/2012 7:47:08 AM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: Squawk 8888

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.


37 posted on 05/05/2012 7:51:09 AM PDT by jsh3180
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To: Squawk 8888

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.


38 posted on 05/05/2012 7:53:53 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Waiting for the new tagline to download)
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To: Bryanw92
I am so thankful I grew up in a time when mothers said, “Get out of the house and don’t come back until the streetlights come on!”

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.

39 posted on 05/05/2012 7:58:15 AM PDT by RightField (one of the obstreperous citizens insisting on incorrect thinking - C. Krauthamer)
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To: JenB

Could be of interest to homeschoolers.


40 posted on 05/05/2012 7:59:27 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: RightField

Oh yeah. Forgot about that one!


41 posted on 05/05/2012 8:00:24 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Bryanw92

Free range children...lol...love it. My daughter her two girlfriends would take their horses and ride into the foothills and surrounding open land on Saturdays. Only rules were bring back their horses uninjured and be on time for dinner. My two kids tell me frequently what a great childhood they had. Today they make me proud.


42 posted on 05/05/2012 8:00:54 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Waiting for the new tagline to download)
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To: Conservative4Ever
That’s the rock strewn hillside where danger lies and a life threatening terrain in every step.

I still bear the 2" scar on my knee where, 57 years ago, my father said, "Don't run over the rocks on the way to the river." I, of course, ran over the rocks as fast as I could, fell, and opened up my knee pretty good.

I still remember watching the ER doctor clean it out and thinking, "hmm ... so that's what a bone looks like." Dad was by my side, and offered no sympathy for my pain.

43 posted on 05/05/2012 8:05:09 AM PDT by RightField (one of the obstreperous citizens insisting on incorrect thinking - C. Krauthamer)
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To: Conservative4Ever

>>Today they make me proud.

Of course they do. You taught them to appreciate freedom and to accept the heavy responsibility that comes with it. They became adults. You did your job well.

These kids today with “play dates” and supervised everything and no threat of harm grow up to be larger children who believe that the world owes them a pain-free, cost-free, work-free life of happiness and total fulfillment. They are their parent’s punishment for weak parenting. Unfortunately, they are usually society’s punishment as well.


44 posted on 05/05/2012 8:09:50 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: jsh3180

Some of us had fun and some of us were just dang destructive. :-)


45 posted on 05/05/2012 8:15:29 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Waiting for the new tagline to download)
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To: Bryanw92

Thank you for your kind words. I often contemplate writing a memior of just being a kid in the 50’s. Silly probably, but we had fun! My kids had fun! Just plain ol’ fun. Better yet, a compilation of others stories, like the ones posted here, I thought I walked on the wild side...sheesh...I never destroyed a bunkbed. But there was that hot summer night when my brothers set off the cherry bomb in the house. Good times, good times.


46 posted on 05/05/2012 8:26:23 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Waiting for the new tagline to download)
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To: Squawk 8888

It’s Winnipeg so to have a hill they had to build one. It’s pretty flat terrain there.


47 posted on 05/05/2012 8:29:02 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: bcsco

When I was a child, probably 8 years old or so, all the GIRLS in the neighborhood would gather to play JACK KNIFE, which involved many skills such as flipping it off the tips of one’s fingers.

In winter, we pulled our sleds to the top of the hill on Tesla Ave and took a LONG ride down, crossing THREE streets on the way down to the bottom. The city placed signs before each intersection warning drivers to go slow—”CHILDREN
COASTING!!!” I don’t remember any child being killed. And there were NO anxious mothers hovering around. Now, there are signs that say “DANGER, NO COASTING”

I remember also, that was an old lady who didn’t like the noise and would spread ashes across the road in front of her house. (now, I’m giving away my age :) ). We always clattered our sleds across them and thankfully still had enough momentum to continue our great ride.


48 posted on 05/05/2012 8:48:46 AM PDT by matchgirl (OMG! Obama Must Go !!!!)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I’m talking about their “national attitude”. Nice as they are, they are VERY liberal as a people, expecting and outright demanding that Big Government hold their hands cradle to grave.

Don’t ever engage a Canadian in a discussion about our Second Amendment, by the way.


49 posted on 05/05/2012 8:54:49 AM PDT by RightOnline (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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To: cripplecreek

Same here. I rode on asphalt, too.

It’s another tactic to make people more dependent and helpless, IMO.


50 posted on 05/05/2012 9:03:16 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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