Playgrounds: treacherous or fun?

By Staff Writer
February 6, 2003

Alaina Robinson

Sharvon Urbannavage: Treacherous/

Let’s face it. Playgrounds just aren’t what they used to be. Considering that on any given day my elementary school playground looked like a scene from “Black Hawk Down,” I highly doubt that playgrounds today are any safer.

Pedophile child-snatchers and 5-year-old gunslingers aside, let’s reflect on the old-school dangers of the playground. I can remember dozens of injuries resulting from an overly rough game of “Red Rover” as well as the unknown damages to internal organs caused by being the “lemon” that gets squished by the husky kid in the class. Sure, the idea behind these games is to have fun, but let’s be real. Everyone knows someone that suffered a severe injury on the playground. Maybe this is just a part of being a kid, but is it really worth the risk?

Nowadays, with both public and school playgrounds, we have to worry about perverts kidnapping children, and parental neglect resulting in a child bringing a weapon for “show and kill.” I think it’s time to reinstate the safe, indoor games of my childhood. I don’t recall any incident of someone ending up with a black eye during “7-up,” or someone breaking an arm during “Eraser Tag.”

Not only are indoor games safer arenas for play, they can even be educational or improve social skills. Being the first one “Around the World” was the most competitive experience in the classroom regardless of the fact that we were learning math in the process. And a good game of “Huckle-Buckle Beanstalk” could teach a group of students how to utilize non-verbal communication in the ever-challenging quest for the hidden whistle.

So, not to say that all playgrounds should be banished from neighborhoods and schools around the world. However, just don’t neglect the fun, yet safer indoor games.

Kendall Neil: Fun
The sound of laughter as a child swings higher into the sky; crying because of a skinned knee; yelling during a game of tag. Go back to when those laughs, tears, and yells were yours. Now, our lives are full of deadlines, heartbreaks, war, pressure and anxiety. If only it were so easy to go to a playground and have our biggest worry be who was going to go down the slide first.

What made going to a playground so great was that you had nothing to worry about. You could escape the confines of your backyard and go to your special place with your best friends, because back then, anyone who would play with you was your best friend. It didn’t matter about the color of their skin, their gender, or what neighborhood they were from. It was someone to play with. You didn’t think that you may never see them again. All that mattered was today, and today, you were at the playground with your new best friend.

The first sign of warm weather was your chance to go the playground. I remember being so excited that I got to go outside after a long and cold winter. Sitting in front of the TV everyday was cool for the first week or so. But as the long winter would drag on, the shows would turn into re-runs and I would just become more and more restless. After staring at the window for what seemed like years, the sun started to shine brightly and before you knew it, you were back outside at the playground. Everything was so care-free and there was nothing to worry about. Things were simple.

The great thing about going to the playground is the sense of innocence that you become ravished in as soon as you sit in that swing you sat in so many years ago. Suddenly, going to the playground isn’t something you only did as a child. Because once you’re back at that same old playground and engulfed in the familiar sounds of laughter, tears, and yelling, you realize that everything that you were so worried about exists outside of this world of innocence.

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