Play dangerously. Playgrounds in Russia and The Netherlands

Many photos

Russia — at the left; The Netherlands — at the right

My son is almost 2 yo and not interested in playgrounds so far. However, I am, because things change, and he will want to try all these swings, slides and climbers very soon. I know I will be worried all the time he conquers of another monkey bar. Nevertheless, I believe the risk is needed. Scientists from the Netherlands have proved it. According to, they recommend giving children play with dangerous things.

Other question is what sort of danger is acceptable. I’d like to compare two types of playgrounds I familiar with.

I’ve lived in Russia until last year. When I moved to the Netherlands, I had shocked looking at playgrounds here. It has equipped with big sharp stones, stumps, and logs. On the other hand, man-made playgrounds.

Take a look…

Of course, there are mix-equipped play areas with logs, metal-plastic swings, plastic-wooden climbers.

Take a look at photos of Russian playgrounds from different towns. Thanks my friends, who sent photos to me.

St.Petersburg ( author Rania Z.), Kirov (Andrey M.), Nizhny Novgorod (Tatyana S.)

They look pretty similar. Aggressive red and yellow colors, not much fantasy, and it doesn’t matter, which town it is. It has no common with playgrounds in the Netherlands.

Certainly, there are exceptions…


What is the difference? I think, all of them are dangerous for my child, but there is a huge gap in the level of the risk. Let me explain.

  • First of all, look at the ground. In Russia, play equipment has put in a gritty ground with short grass, or a thin cover of sand. Once, I saw a playground with a pebble cover. It is not a joke. Dutch one has a very soft fake grass or deep sand.
  • Take a look at fences. In the Netherlands, it is necessary if children could run away to a busy street. Mostly, fences are surrounded by bushes for certain that a kid can’t go through it. Russian playgrounds have no protection (an exemption is in the photo above, from Nizhny Novgorod). I am afraid that short fences couldn’t help parents avoid a tragedy in the case if a kid wants to run home through the courtyard, full of cars.
  • The scariest part — equipment. The typical Russian playground includes a playhouse with slide, swings, a roundabout, teeter-boars, a monkey bar. All of them are colorful and put very close to each other. On the contrary, it is hard to find similar playgrounds in the Netherlands. Most of them are full of fantasy. And the more important thing, for me, is attractions place on enough distances that the falling child couldn’t be hurt with another one.

For me, material for play equipment does not matter. My child can slip on the rock, or fall from the log, and get hurt. However, I suppose that it is better to get a natural wooden splinter than dyed one, or worse, rusty.

My favorite playground in the Netherlands…

Of course, there are many exceptions in both countries. The described situation is more common, though.