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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who's Playing on Those Plastic Jungle Gyms Any Way?

Never-ever have I seen a kid playing outside, on or around those brightly colored plastic jungle gyms, you know the 3'x3'x3'x3' cube with a hole on each side? There is one exception, daycare centers, where the kids are corralled into playing on them behind fenced in play areas.

When I was a kid we climbed actual living sap-on-your-hands trees. What a novel idea. Our other option was to go to the playground where you sat on a searing hot metal (if the sun was shining) merry-go-round disc, while one of your friends held onto one the rails and pushed it, running, running, running as fast as they could, as you watched in merriment as they were almost dragged along side or under before jumping on. Going round and round until you thought you where going to puke. Now that's fun! Or better yet, we went went down searing hot metal slides, jumping off at the first realization of its hotness, before leaving some much needed skin behind. That's what real playing is about, not going in and out of a hole and climbing up and out a 3'x3'x3'x3' plastic "jungle gym" to where again, I have never seen a kid within 20 feet of.

Speaking of boxes, I had more fun when I was a kid with a large cardboard box where
I could make believe it was a car and I drew a steering wheel, gas petal and brake, on the inside and wheels on the outside. Or it could be a house where I cut holes for doors and windows. Imagine using your imagination! Fascinating.

So all you new moms and dads out there, save $250 by not buying one of those outdoor plastic jungle gyms, your kids will never play on them, just see if you can get the box they come in instead.