All this rain has been a real downer – I’m not allowed to go to the park when it’s rainy. And I really like to go to the park. Ask anyone, they’ve probably heard me campaigning for an outing. I completely don’t understand the whole “no park in the rain” rule. I’m almost 2 for goodness sakes, I’m not going to melt! Alas, I am trapped inside.
Rather than using this time to aimlessly color, operate my play-dough extruder, or run around screaming, I’m going to share my thoughts on the various playgrounds I have visited over the past few months. Once the snow finally melted, and my motor skills improved, I’ve been able to take full advantage the sunny days to slide and swing to my heart’s content.
My reviews will have to be a team effort. I generally focus on surveying the available equipment, and pay little attention to the overall environment. Perhaps I’ll interview Mommy and/or Daddy to get their take on some of the more “adult” considerations when choosing a playground. After reflecting on what I find important, and consulting with others, I’ve decided to rate each playground using the following criteria:
- Playscape: The Playscape is the heart and soul of the modern playground. It has the climbing opportunities and the slides, the steering wheels and the bouncy bridges. What ages is it designed for? Is it in good condition? Does anything about it seem dangerous? And most importantly, is it fun?
- Swings: Just like not all parks have playgrounds, not all playgrounds have swings. And swings come in different sizes and shapes. How many are there? What ages are they designed for?
- Other Stuff: Some playgrounds have fun other stuff to explore.
- Facilities: Is there anywhere to go to the bathroom? Get an ice cream cone?
- Social Opportunities: How active is the park? Are there other kids and/or adults around? Are they nice or mean?
- Potential for Escape: Once we get to the park, how easy is it to get away from the play area and into trouble without being seen?
- Overall Rating: How many slides does the playground rate once all the factors are considered?
With the ground rules established, let the playing begin!