On Today’s Playgrounds

The play has been stripped from playgrounds.

The objective of play from the one hour that kids get in their school day has become a relic of an age gone by.

I saw this photo from David Perell’s Coolest things of 2020 post and was provoked

This is what a common playground looked like in 1900.

Source: David Perell’s Coolest things of 2020

Today’s grounds are much more comfortable. Great in design but intuitively lacks the danger of weight and height that made children grow their gut sense. I believe there is such a thing as security in playgrounds. And it is rightfully important.

However, sacrificing the child’s growth of social connection and their understanding of how the world works, for short-term safety seems wrong. Period.

Although, there has to be objective security that a playground should have good safety for the overall security of the children. The increasing demand for subjective security of playgrounds that are based on each child is not going to help them in the long run.

The playground is simply put, the real world in a microcosm where we connect and build. Forge a bond and prosper as a team. We grow and create a railing of security for our future without the designs of subjective security and avoiding danger.

Play is often the exploration of the unknown. If you knew you were to win every game you played on the playground, it would not be played. Play is fun when it leads to new ways to connect ideas to win or at least not lose. And if it’s fun, it can be spiritual for the soul.

As Jordan B. Peterson puts it, ‘’As children playing, the danger was the point. They are there to conquer it.”

One’s voluntary exposure to danger leads to great growth. The danger is exciting and also a teacher. We learned to walk with the fear of falling. There is far more chance of getting back up in the real world as an adult if you have experienced the pain of staying down as a child.

We should all ask ourselves: How much comfort am I willing to give to my child so that they would be crippled for life when adults?



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