Play…it’s essential to human development. If you are of my generation, you remember roaming the neighborhood without adult supervision, playing with your peers in empty lots, houses under construction, and playgrounds at parks and schools. Today, I would never think of giving my own children this allowance of freedom if I lived in town.
That’s right! Only one-in-five children live within “walking distance” of playgrounds or parks. Not only are our children not living near parks, those parks are too safe! As another example of how we overprotect our children, playgrounds have become sterile places where children are robbed of challenging their gross motor skills and overcoming psychological fears. The Daily Mail reports:
I still remember when my elementary school installed giant heavy equipment tires on our playground. We would run and jump up trying to scale to the top. After countless tries, reaching the top was a serious achievement, but that was not all! We would then jump from tire to tire, which was quite a leap. I can’t imagine parents or teachers today allowing children such an experience. I think my heart would drop watching my own children try such a feat.