Back in the day, playgrounds were not always the safest spaces but that never stopped the kids from having a blast on rides and swings.
People who grew up before the internet was even a thing remember some of their best days spent outside playing. Playgrounds were far different from the ones people see today. Sure, they were not always the safest spaces with not-so-soft landing surfaces, but that never stopped the kids from having a blast on rides and swings. Recently, Ronda Schofield - who goes on TikTok by @over40_slbmom - posted a video showcasing "the last Gen X playground."Aptly set to the iconic 80s song "Maniac," the clip shows kids playing on old pieces of park equipment, including a swing with a generic clown face.
They can be seen queueing up a giant metal slide weighted down by a concrete cinder block while the others hop onto a rusted four-seater seesaw that sins. Also in the video were vintage rocking horse swings and the evergreen merry-go-round. It is not a common sight at places dedicated to kids for playing these days. Many people enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane through the video. @mdsunshine8 wrote, "Get this place declared as a national historic landmark!" @missm1975 added, "That slide needs to be in the sun, then they'll really know what we went through!" @mkesterson92 pointed out, "The lunch ladies at my elementary school would give us waxed paper so we would slide faster down the slide." @randomcj69 reminisced, "The horse swings were my favorite. But impossible when you get bigger, no knee room!" @harmanygirl22 recalled, "I kept saying, 'Where's the merry-go-round'….. then I exclaimed, 'Tthere it is!' Hahaaha my favorite in kindergarten."
Playgrounds nowadays are using alternative equipment to be safe, but some people feel that being too uptight about the rules can take the fun out of the space too. Back in the day, playgrounds were a little rough around the edges, but you can't deny that there was an undeniable rugged charm about it all. However, there have been several lawsuits centered on the danger of old-school playgrounds.
When a child got injured as a result of being on a merry-go-round, in 2011, a lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Flemington on behalf of her. Brianna Ackerman's parents sued the Franklin Township Board of Education and others after the then sixth-grader was injured during recess in 2009 while using the middle school playground merry-go-round, reports NJ. While the case was first dismissed they later appealed. The appellate court ruled that the part of Ackerman's suit alleging that staffers failed to supervise children on the playground during recess should not have been dismissed, as reported by My Central Jersey.
Some experts feel risks in a playground should be addressed directly, while others should be avoided entirely. "The take-home message for municipalities is: Stop setting your bar at the level of the most anxious parent. If you do that, you're guaranteed to produce boring and dull playgrounds," said Tim Gill, a London-based researcher and advocate who wrote a white paper on faulty assumptions about risky playgrounds, as reported by Bloomberg. "If you set your bar at the level of the average parent or maybe even at the level of the parents … who do want some more excitement and challenge in their kids' lives, then, things start to look different."