It is mid January and the weather is very mixed.
I have been taking my daily walk and cannot help but notice how EMPTY the playgrounds are around where I live.
When I was a child in the Fifties and Sixties, I could not wait to get outside and play. Where I lived, there were not any playgrounds nearby, but there was a big field and this field contained lots and lots of trees that I used to climb. I often fell off the branches and went home with grazed legs, but that did not put me off. (No dolls for me I'm afraid!!) I also remember playing rounders with friends in this field.
Sometimes mum would take a group of my friends to the Castle Green and Bishops Meadows in Hereford, about half an hour's walk from home.
This was a real treat as there were slides, swings, climbing frames made out of wood, a roundabout, and lots of SPACE! We often had a picnic and there was also a big paddling pool that I remember splashing about in. One never seems to feel the cold as a child!!
I walked through a large field one Sunday afternoon called The Quarry in Tupsley which is used as a football pitch at weekends in the mornings for local teams, but it was completely deserted. Not one child kicking a ball or playing cricket with maybe a hand made stump for the wicket. I only met two people walking their dogs and the small children they had with them didn't seem keen to go on the playgound equipment.
One day this month, the sun was out so I was sure I would see some small pre school children at a popular play area, but no, not a soul at 3pm! What do all the children around here do?
Is the reason because parents are worried their children are no longer safe? Is it because the children do not want to go to these types of places any more? It seems such a shame that childhood slides and swings are maybe no longer viewed as fashionable.
When my two sons were small, I used to make friends with other mums at play areas and it was a good way for the boys and girls to 'let off steam' and use up some of their boundless energy! We mums would compare notes on meal times, fussy eating, endless tidying up after our children etc etc, but always have a good laugh too.
The rise in Adult Play areas has been consistent for a few years now. I don't have one near where I live, but I think I would use it if I did!
Perhaps the area where I live is unusual re children using playgrounds? Please comment on FB or on Disqus here about the areas where you live if the playgrounds are thriving?