Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'm a swinger!

At 27, on occasion, I sneak out to the local park and pump away on the big 16-foot swings. I suggest you do the same; they won’t be around much longer.

In a recent USA today article Greg Toppo reported: “As safety standards trickled down over the past 25 years, schools, cities and day care centers have been quietly replacing swing sets with all-in-one climbing structures that child-development experts say promote both physical fitness and social skills.”

Toppo goes on to inform us that only 57% of schools have swings. Due to the requirement for spongy surfacing beneath the swings, costs have skyrocketed from about $800 to $4,000 for a simple swing set.

Also falling by the wayside are seesaws (on 13% of playgrounds) and merry-go-rounds (on 7% of playgrounds). Oh, yeah, and the monkey bars are now called “horizontal ladders.” Why the name change? Political Correctness? What next, are we going to rename monkeys?

Personally, I’m of the survival-of-the-fittest playground philosophy. Some of my most vivid memories from grade school are of good friends breaking limbs after high falls or freezing their tongues to the metal monkey bars. Now that all of the equipment is low to the cushioned-ground and made of plastic none of this will be possible.

We are destined to be a nation of weenies with good social skills.

2 comments:

K-Money said...

WHAT?!?!?!

There are so few absolute truths. One that I have always clung to: Playgrounds = swings and monkey-bars!

Kelsey said...

Maybe I should have rethought the tile of this posting, "I'm a swinger." I've been getting a lot of hits from people who googled "swinger." I'm not that kind of swinger!