Have Fun, Kids! Just a Few Rules, First…

One of you sent in a photo from a park you recently visited that sure sounds fun safe! In case the picture is too small to read, here are some of the rules:

For your enjoyment, please obey the following rules or you may cause injury to yourself or others.

*ADULT SUPERVISION IS REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES.

*No bicycles, roller skates and skateboards in play area.

*Inspect play area before starting to lay and remove litter.

CAUTION!

*Pushing and running may cause injury.

*Throwing sand or other objects may cause injury.

*Metal pieces may be hot if exposed to the sun.

SWINGS

*Hold on with both hands.

*No standing on swings.

*Stop swinging before getting off.

*Never swing or twist an empty swing.

*Stand clear of moving swing to avoid injury.

*One person per swing.

SLIDES

*Slide feet first only.

*No running or walking up slide.

*Exit promptly to avoid collisions.

That last one happens to be my favorite. This is truly a sign on the times: Every eventuality must be listed, along with every possible danger,  until people think you have to explain how and why to get off a slide, and even spinning an empty swing becomes a horror to be avoided.

Let the caution commence!

Let the caution commence!

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67 Responses to Have Fun, Kids! Just a Few Rules, First…

  1. SOA July 27, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    LOL like anyone is going to read all that unless they are bored or something. Plus kids definitely are not going to read all that so really those signs are more for the grown ups and you would think grown ups know they need to teach their little ones to not walk in front of swings or not to throw sand. Seems pretty obvious.

    Of course you will always have some clueless parents that don’t make sure their kids behave at playgrounds but putting up very specific rules is not going to change that. They are going to let their kids be hellions and do the wrong thing whether there are posted rules or not.

  2. lihtox July 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    Heh heh, my daughter was climbing up slides before she could walk. (Technically she was crawling so I guess that’s allowed.)

  3. Gwen July 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    I heard both of these said at the school playground after school by parents to their children. “I saw you come down that slide upside down and backward. You are in so much trouble.” and “Don’t run! You could fall down!”

  4. Wendy W July 27, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

    Sounds like a sign put up to satisfy an insurance company so they can refuse to pay for any injuries. Translation: play at your own risk and don’t sue us.

  5. BL July 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    I believe I regularly broke every one of these rules with enthusiasm when I was 7-8 years old.

    And yet, here I am.

  6. Stacy July 27, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    What a fun playground. I can’t help contrasting this with an experience we had this week — just so everyone doesn’t totally lose hope. A park in a nearby city just put up new equipment, including a high slide, a new kind of merry go round with spots for kids to jump on and off, and a climbing web that’s about forty feet high at the top, so high that my daredevil didn’t make it all the way up. My kids were climbing barefoot on the web when a park worker stopped by. He said in a serious voice, “I don’t know if you’ve heard our rules. Kids are not allowed to play here [pause] unless they’re having fun.”

  7. Dave Weil July 27, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Unless I’m mistaken, that sign is from Independence Grove in Libertyville, IL. If so, while I certainly agree with everything stated about how absurd that sign is, that playground is actually one of the best I’ve been to with regard to letting my kids really test their limits in ways that would be unacceptable most other places. My boys love climbing on all the different rock walls there (actual rock walls, not the fake playground ones with plastic hand and foot holds) and trying to climb on top of the giant bolder that is there.

  8. no rest for the weary July 28, 2014 at 12:07 am #

    I thought maybe there was also a hatch mark on that sign indicating a minimum height requirement.

  9. Emily July 28, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    >>Sounds like a sign put up to satisfy an insurance company so they can refuse to pay for any injuries. Translation: play at your own risk and don’t sue us.<<

    In that case, why not just write that? I remember signs at public parks, and pools, that said "Play/swim at your own risk. [Venue Name] is not liable for injuries or death that may result from improper use of the playground/pool." If there were legitimate by-laws in place (i.e., no smoking, no dogs, no golf, etc.), then those would be stated, but there were never any signs micromanaging how to play on the playground. Pools were a bit different, but even then, it was mostly obvious stuff like "Don't dive in the shallow end," and "Don't run on the slippery pool deck," and "Don't swim if you have a communicable disease." My point is, the rules were simple and few enough that most people (even kids) remembered all of them, and at a lot of places, the last "rule" was "Have fun." If I was faced with a sign like the one in this article, if I was going somewhere with kids, I'd probably ignore most/all of those rules. I mean, what kind of childhood can you have without jumping out of a swing at least once? Sure, the first attempt might result in a mouthful of sand, but that's not dangerous; just unpleasant–all part of trial and error. One bright spot, though–the people who made this sign somehow forgot to ban cartwheels, tag, balls, Frisbees, running, and several other things that have already been banned from many school playgrounds.

  10. J- July 28, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    Warning: Playground is not to be used for play.

  11. baby-paramedic July 28, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-21/46-million-awarded-for-jumping-pillow-backflip-injury/5276006

    This place had (and I guess still has) a sign saying enter at own risk, no liability accepted by owners etc.

  12. Stacy July 28, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    “http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-21/46-million-awarded-for-jumping-pillow-backflip-injury/5276006″

    I won’t comment on the legal aspects of that case, but you have found the one piece of play equipment that actually terrifies me. My kids have climbed everything, walked on playgrounds with their eyes closed, and even broken an elbow in a four-foot fall, but nothing scared me like a man-size teenager bouncing on a jumping pillow right next to my petite preschooler, sending her flying into the air like a rag doll and down onto her neck. She was thankfully fine, despite having the breath knocked out of her. I do think caution should be used with jumping pillows and different sized children.

    But yeah, if that sign was at our playground, my kids would once again see that I don’t always follow rules. :)

  13. lollipoplover July 28, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    Several weeks ago at our pool, I was horrified to hear the lifeguards whistle and call over a group of girls (2 of them were mine)after an *incident* on one of the big water slides.
    Seems the girls schemed and plotted to break the rule of “one at a time” and formed a human bobsled team to go down the winding slide. They were banned from the slides for the rest of the day.
    They say it was totally worth it.
    I only wish I got to see it.
    “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

  14. Dirk July 28, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    No one reads those sings. Risk management.

  15. Elin July 28, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    I think the only signs I have seen in playgrounds in Sweden is “No dogs or cats allowed” (for some reason cats are often included though I have never ever seen anyone bring a cat to the playground but perhaps they do not want to discriminate against cats or something).

  16. Steve S July 28, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Dirk is right. No one is likely to read that sign and it is probably up because the lawyers for the manufacturer told them it would minimize their liability.

  17. kate July 28, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    I looked up jumping pillow. Then entire site seems to be devoted to proving the safety of this equipment.
    Looks like loads of
    fun.
    Stacy,here is a safety feature you might like: Variable Speed Motor:
    “Big people can hurt little people! This feature allows you the Park Owner the ability to regulate just how high folks can jump. Tone it down to a level that is still enjoyable but you won’t have teens and adults crashing down on the little ones from a great height.”

    http://www.thekangaroojumper.com/kangaroo_jumper.html

  18. Matthew July 28, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    Just looked up the jumping pillow and I can definitely see the issue with large disparitites in size, and with the name why someone would think it would be safe to flip. I’m guessing it’s like a trampoline in that other people jumping can disrupt the rebound and how much give it has and that wouldn’t be obvious to a new user.

    I had to get medieval on some kids and parents last week at Monkey Joes. They have a couple of inflatables tagged for 3 and under, and kids 8-12 were slamming all over the place so the smaller kids (my 20 month old and a few that looked to be about 2) couldn’t stand up and were getting stepped on. It was a case where with comparable size the risk is getting hurt, but with oversized kids the risk moves to serious injury.

    Some of those rules above I would hope kids would follow out of good manners anyway.

  19. Jill July 28, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Have fun, kids! Have cautious, timid fun.

  20. EricS July 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    And in very tiny letters somewhere at the bottom…”have fun”. lol

    In a litigious society, these signs don’t surprise me. Again, most of these are for the benefit of adults/institutions, NOT the children.

  21. Bernard July 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    The greatest danger to our children is “us”. We are gradually rendering them incapable of ever facing or dealing with any eventuality. Might as well invite potential raiders of our soil now. We’ll soon be submissively ripe for the taking. . .

  22. Stacy July 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    “Just looked up the jumping pillow and I can definitely see the issue with large disparitites in size, and with the name why someone would think it would be safe to flip. I’m guessing it’s like a trampoline in that other people jumping can disrupt the rebound and how much give it has and that wouldn’t be obvious to a new user.

    I had to get medieval on some kids and parents last week at Monkey Joes. They have a couple of inflatables tagged for 3 and under, and kids 8-12 were slamming all over the place so the smaller kids (my 20 month old and a few that looked to be about 2) couldn’t stand up and were getting stepped on. It was a case where with comparable size the risk is getting hurt, but with oversized kids the risk moves to serious injury.”

    Yes, it’s the size issue. I don’t mean to say that jumping pillows in general are dangerous, but when you have a 150 pound teenage boy jumping at full strength next to a 35 pound girl, it’s going to be a problem. In that case, weight restrictions make a lot of sense. I don’t have a problem with age/weight/height restrictions on bounce houses either.

    Back to the playground rules, our family rule for slides is that you can climb up unless someone wants to slide down, because they have the right of way and it’s rude not to let them slide.

  23. E. Simms July 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    “*Inspect play area before starting to lay and remove litter.”

    Does anyone have a clue what this one even means?

  24. Renee Anne July 28, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    That sign contains far too many words for the average 8-10 year old to read while the allure of the park is only feet away. And honestly, most of that is just plain common sense. Sure, running and jumping and doing spiders on the swings are fun but it’s probably not the safest thing. But, we all survived :)

  25. BL July 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    ‘“*Inspect play area before starting to lay and remove litter.”

    Does anyone have a clue what this one even means?’

    I think there’s a letter missing: … before starting to *P*lay and remove litter…

  26. TM July 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    What’s fascinating to me about the jumping pillow case is the argument that the person in question (a college student) could not have been expected to know that attempting back flips could result in serious injury if you land incorrectly. When I was a young kid (6 or 7), I had a giant foam and box spring guest bed in our house. I used to jump on that all the time, and would occasionally attempt flips. Even I knew then that if I didn’t land right, I could seriously hurt myself. Maybe I didn’t anticipate becoming a paraplegic (mostly because I probably didn’t know the word), but I sure as heck knew it would be bad and mean a trip to the ER. I knew this at 6 or 7, how in the heck is it at all unreasonable to expect a college student to know the same thing?

  27. BL July 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    “how in the heck is it at all unreasonable to expect a college student to know the same thing?”

    Because all highly educated people know that if they attempt to do something unsafe, a mandatory safety device will prevent them from doing it. QED.

  28. Papilio July 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    *Wearing a backpack, helmet or clothing with strings or straps is prohibited. Wearing may result in serious injury.

    Finally a situation where even the sacred helmet is deemed unsafe!

    “That sign contains far too many words for the average 8-10 year old to read while the allure of the park is only feet away.”

    I was going to joke that kids should just tell busybodies that their parents have redshirted them SO many times they STILL can’t read the sign 😀 , but then I realized they wouldn’t play there by themselves anyway……. :-(

  29. Reziac July 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Seems to me there’s a simple fix for bigger kids ignoring “for little kids” and flinging smalls into the air via these “jumping pillows” and similar toys (eg. trampolines): String some sort of roof over it, at a height where bigger jumpers bang their heads, or at least are restrained from boinging so hard the smalls go flying. That way the toy itself enforces ‘safe play’ (relatively speaking).

    As to specifying types of risks, the moment you do so, you leave yourself liable for a myriad of unspecified risks. The generic “use at your own risk, may cause injury or death” may be “safer” from a legal standpoint.

  30. CLamb July 28, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    “*Inspect play area before starting to lay and remove litter.”

    No, no, no. What it really says is:

    “*Inspect play area before starting to play and remove litter.”

  31. Reziac July 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    BL says: “Because all highly educated people know that if they attempt to do something unsafe, a mandatory safety device will prevent them from doing it.”

    And this is precisely what we’re teaching our children with all this extreme mitigation of every possible risk (risks that we happened to think of, anyway) — that no matter how stupid they behave, something will save them.

  32. bmj2k July 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Aside from how ridiculous some of those rules are, who is going to stand and read that sign? So what does it all come down to? Lawyers.

  33. SOA July 28, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    They may mean to inspect the equipment before playing to make sure it has not been damaged or has been tampered with. We had a couple cases here lately with someone putting razor blades on playground equipment. Not going to stop taking my kids to playgrounds but apparently not a bad idea to walk around and check for that stuff either. They have even had police stop by a couple times a day and check it for that stuff.

  34. Gina July 28, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    I actually stopped teaching preschool, in part, due to the ridiculous “up the ladder, down the slide” rules. Says who???? Who decided that this was the “right way”…Situations like this are the ones that teach kids to discuss and compromise. And even if a kid slides down into a kid walking up, so the F what???

    @Stacy–I love your comment about your kids seeing that you don’t always follow rules. Having grown up in the late 60’s and early 70’s, I have always contended that bad rules need to be broken in order to change them. My kids have followed suit and I couldn’t be prouder. Someday, ask me about my daughter’s last week of 8th grade when she dyed her hair pink…..LOL

  35. Let Her Eat Dirt July 29, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    Wow. That’s some serious fine print for a playground — even worse than the one at one of our nearby parks. Who comes up with these things?! Do they really think anyone is going to read them or follow them? And why do act as if is there only one “right” way to play? Since when, for example, are slides only supposed to go down and not up? Why can’t kids discover their own ways to play with these things? As long as the kids are not hurting anyone else, why do authority figures feel the need to intervene? What are they afraid of?

    If we adults make up ridiculous, impossible-to-follow rules, we only teach our kids that rules are meaningless, silly things that are best ignored.

    Let Her Eat Dirt
    http://www.lethereatdirt.com
    A dad’s take on raising tough, adventurous girls

  36. SOA July 29, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    I agree with the up the ladder down the slide rule at crowded playgrounds. Now if it is not crowded then climb up the slide all you want. But if there are other kids trying to slide down the slide and they can’t because every time they try to some kid is climbing up the slide, then they need to get the hell out of the way.

    My kids sat there patiently waiting their turn in line to get to the top of the slide and then sat there trying to slide and every time they tried to go down some stupid kid was going up the slide. I finally told my kid to barrel into them and knock them down and then maybe they will realize slides are for sliding first and foremost, not climbing.

    There are plenty of things to climb at a playground. Go climb those and stop using the slide as a climbing thing when other kids are trying to use it the way it was intended. Its rude.

  37. Buffy July 29, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    EVERY time, Dolly? Doubtful.

  38. Andy July 29, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    @Buffy @SOA If there is someone going up the slide every time, then maybe this particular playground has “slide is meant to be climbed up” rule.

    Dolly, maybe you should respect local customs and instruct your child to stop being rude and climb the slide up like everybody else.

  39. Sloan44 July 29, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    All These “Rules” were what I, and all others kids, DID NOT follow when I was a child in my local park..that’s how we had fun and without any injuries. How can kids have fun being bubble wrapped?

  40. SOA July 29, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Enough that my child started crying because they sat there at the top of the slide for several minutes trying to go down and the kids would not get out of his way. I was not the only parent that was getting annoyed by it so no, not the custom. And if it is against the posted rules, then yeah we have right of way.

    If your kids want to climb up a slide buy a playground for your house and they can climb up them all day long or go to a playground that is not busy. But at busy playgrounds with kids lining up to use the slide, the kids need to stop trying to go up it. Slides are designed to be slid down thus the name “Slide”. They are not called “climbs”. But most playgrounds have plenty of climbing walls and ladders and other stuff that is meant to be climbed on. Direct your kids to go climb on that stuff when there is a long line of kids waiting to use the slide.

  41. Melanie July 29, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    And yet….my neighborhood just installed a nice new playground. No one ever complained about anything on the thirty year old no fall zone metal playground, but the first call we got after installing a brand new plastic, mulched, compliant playground was about the slides getting hot and needing a warning. The liability concern is apparently warranted.

  42. Andy July 29, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    @SOA So basically, your kid and those kids down were blocking each other and no one budged? Or there were so many of them that they made a continuous stream of up climbing kids?

    I think that you are taking playground conflicts too seriously. Do not take me wrong, I do occasionally intervene when big kids block small kids too much or some kid is too aggressive in getting his way. I would told the big one to please let the small slide down after too long stalemate. But, I would not try to prevent him to climb up after the small one got his way.

    But, there is no reason to go angry over who has the right of way on slide or who was using the swings too long or whatever. It is playground, it is meant for play and it is meant for them to negotiate as age appropriate. If you enraged over playground issue a week later, then you are overthinking it.

    A wish to climb the slide up seem to be so common in kids, that it clearly is normal behavior. And the reason they do not follow that rule is that there is no reason for that rule in most circumstances.

    My impression is that big kids climb slides because it is harder to climb then climbing walls and ladders. Those are more of small kid climbing stuff all too often. If there are challenging things to climb, slide up climbing does not happen to be day long occupation of those kids. They do it few times and then go to do something else.

    Another of my impressions is that if there is an aggressive non-cooperative group of kids, they will cause problems no matter what elaborate rules over equipment use you have. You will have to tell them to tone it down sooner or later anyway, because it is about them being in aggressive mode right now.

  43. mystic_eye July 29, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    @SOA my kid would read it, he reads all the signs. Once we mad the mistake of going to the marina and he memorized the chart of how quickly you’ll die of hypothermia in the lake at each temperature. Fun times. Though even he wouldn’t stop going up slides.

  44. Kelly D. July 29, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    There was a review of a local playground on a website that said, “The rules say ‘Parent must accompany children at all times,'” so I had to see for myself. What the sign ACTUALLY said was “Parent supervision recommended at all times,” which is not ideal but is definitely not the same thing as accompanying your child on every part of the playground. Luckily, there are restaurant patios nearby, so I’m pretty sure I met the minimum “supervision” requirements. It would be helpful if people didn’t inject their own fears into the reviews they are writing! If that had actually been a rule at this playground, we never would have gone again. I have no desire to swing on monkey bars just to be accompanying my children!

  45. kate July 29, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    These are the unspoken rules of the playground where I live. I don’t listen to any of them. My kids can climb, jump, run around and play safely on their own. kids aren’t stupid. if they fall they often learn something, so unless it’s going to result in a broken bone I’m not going to follow behind my kids as they play. If you don’t let kids make ‘mistakes’ they can’t learn. Inhibiting play = inhibiting learning. and just because your kid has an accident does not mean you are a negligent parent.

  46. mystic_eye July 29, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    My 6 year old comes over crying all the time lately, complaining that “no one is letting me have a turn”. His idea of not getting a turn is that he glanced at the equipment a few times and each time someone was, gasp, using it. I just tell him that he has to go stand close enough to the equipment so that people know he wants a turn (or wait in the line if there already is one) or ask. I don’t do it for him unless it’s really insanely busy and loud, even then half the time I tell him to get his brother to help.

    Anyway my point is this: unless the kid at the top of the slide is really small the kids climbing probably expect them to either barrel into them (which is half the fun) or use their voice. Generally the only time I get involved is to remind my kids to take extra care of small kids (toddlers basically) usually because they haven’t noticed there’s a small one that’s climbed into the middle of their game of tag. Otherwise I expect them to work it out on their own and I don’t put up with tattling.

  47. Montreal Dad July 29, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    “But your honor, nobody told us wet or icy equipment may be slippery…how were we supposed to know?!”

    The derp is strong with this one…

  48. SOA July 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    It was bigger kids picking on mine. This happened when they were small but they were literally sitting on the top of the slide part and every time they started to push off to go another kid jumped on the slide to climb up it and then either pushed past my son sitting there or slid back down only to climb back up again.

    Now I tell my kids to barrel into them and if they hurt the other kid (unless it is a small child then I tell them to watch out for them because they don’t know any better) then I laugh and don’t feel bad about it.

    This again goes to what I talked about on the other thread. Free range does not and should not equal no manners. Manners mean we take turns on equipment. We are courteous of others. If you see a child waiting to slide, stop climbing up it over and over and let them slide down for goodness sake.

  49. Bekki Childers July 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Let them stand by the swing when it’s being twisted. They’ll learn not to do it! Maybe the lawyers should stand there and get a little sense knocked into them!

  50. Jill July 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    My concern with all that is, the kids can’t play alone. They have to be supervised at ALL times. Please. We lived across the street from the city park growing up. We would go over there by ourselves from sun up to sun down in the summer from the time I was 6 or 7, and I would take my sister, age 3 or 4 with me. We came home only for food, and sometimes we could talk mom into sending us a sack lunch to eat in the pavilion. Oh how I miss those times for today’s kids. They have no idea how good it was back then. No wonder we can’t get our kids to leave the nest even when they are in their 30’s, although mine are both gone and I don’t plan on them returning(fingers crossed), locks have been changed. :)

  51. Jeff A. Taylor July 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    As the stay-at-home dad of toddler/pre-school sons at the turn of the century any public play very quickly revealed a parenting neurosis that I did not share, or comprehend. But because well-meaning moms universally assumed I was new to the child-care gig — and I think really liked the IDEA of dads doing a day out with the kids — I got multiple windows on the mindset. The big fear was that “something bad” might happen. HOW bad did not seem to matter — bad was bad, and if bad happened you very well might be a Bad Parent. So all kinds of conversations like:

    Nice Mom: “Oh, that doesn’t look safe.”
    Me: “Maybe not.”
    Nice Mom: “He might fall.”
    Me: “He might. He did the other day.”
    Nice Mom: “[Gasp!] Did he get hurt?”
    Me: “Not too bad. He’s back up there.”
    Nice Mom: “Oh. yeah..”

    Eventually I came up with this rule of thumb: How likely is it that I’m gonna have to dial 911 if activity X goes sideways? Always tried to keep that metric below 50%. Never did dial 911.

  52. lollipoplover July 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    “Free range does not and should not equal no manners. Manners mean we take turns on equipment. We are courteous of others.”

    So this is good manners?!

    “Now I tell my kids to barrel into them and if they hurt the other kid (unless it is a small child then I tell them to watch out for them because they don’t know any better) then I laugh and don’t feel bad about it.”

    Umm, maybe you could just have a conversation with the kids or parents if there’s an issue.

  53. lollipoplover July 29, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    “Free range does not and should not equal no manners. Manners mean we take turns on equipment. We are courteous of others.”

    So this is good manners?!

    “Now I tell my kids to barrel into them and if they hurt the other kid (unless it is a small child then I tell them to watch out for them because they don’t know any better) then I laugh and don’t feel bad about it.”

    Or perhaps you could have a conversation with other playground parents and kids before sending your kids as projectiles into their children with *bad manners* and laughing about it. The only bad manners I see here are yours, Dolly. Back off and let the kids work these things out. They usually do better than adults.

  54. Andy July 29, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    @SOA You realize that the small kid being picked on by bigger one has nothing to do with toy in question? They could have block the swings or the ladder. They could be taking away toys. It was about them being in cruel mode and the usual solution is to tell them off or to politely ask their parents to make them stop. Your kid was intentionally picked on by another one and therefore you will fight for no-slide-up rule for everyone one on every playground. How that make sense?

    Just curious: are really you teaching your kid to intentionally hit all other kids or just those particular kids? Is anyone who immediately does not clear the slide the moment you want it the target? Or do you give them, say, 5 seconds to clear the place? Are you laughing out loud or do you keep the fun for yourself?

    I’m not so sure that someone who instruct his kid to hit another one and then laugh looks courteous or good mannered to others.

  55. Joe July 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    Wow – rules. Like any self-respecting 7 year old is going to read – must less abide by – these rules. This sign may be a risk management attempt by the park insurers, but you can bet that a large majority of parents that enter the park ENFORCE!!! these rules.

    My favorite one is: “Use each Play Feature as it is intended.”
    Wow – to me, as a kid, that just gave me free reign! The swings are for swinging! – the higher you get the more ‘air’ you get when you bail! It’s not like the ‘Play Feature’ can argue or tell me its ‘intent’!. And no, I wasn’t swinging when I bailed – I had to STOP swinging in order to prep the jump…
    The Slides are for climbing – from either side. One side is a ladder, the other side is a ramp. And jumping from the top of the ladder is a test of bravery, skill and “I’m cooler than you, cause I jumped from the top of the slide!”

  56. SOA July 29, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

    Lollipop: I always look around for the parents and either can’t find them or they don’t seem to care and don’t want to be bothered. I also always ask the kids nicely to stop first or my kids will ask them. If they ignore our request then barreling into them it is (for kids big enough to know better, not toddlers little kids).

  57. phan nhuom toc July 30, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    lol
    thats right :)

  58. ifsogirl July 30, 2014 at 2:51 am #

    Everyone is getting all in a suit about kids barrelling into other kids climbing up the slide. I seem to remember as a kid the playground rule was climb the slide all you want, if you aren’t going to get off when I said I was coming down and waited for you to move, all bets were off. Usually the few kids who would continuously block kids from sliding down would get yelled at by most the other kids.

    This is How Not To Be A Douchebag 101. Right up there with don’t jump off the end of the teeter totter without warning and don’t block someone from swinging because it’s not your turn yet.

    Of course if there are less kids and climbing the slide doesn’t cause a lot of unnecessary squabbling, have at it.

  59. BL July 30, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    @ifsogirl
    “Everyone is getting all in a suit”

    Do you mean a “snit”?

    Otherwise, I’m very confused …

  60. Andy July 30, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    @ifsogirl It is the juxtaposition of the “manners, courteousness and rules are important” with “barrel into them and laugh when they are hurt” paragraphs that got me. And while sliding down into somebody who is consistently blocking you can be part of solution if you are five, an adult laughing on hurt kid is hardly courteous.

    Presumably, the hit each other kids on your playground did not talked about how well mannered they are while hitting each other. Presumably, they knew they are involved in power fight.

  61. SOA July 30, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Or sometimes the best way to teach children is natural consequences. If you are going to climb up the slide over and over and not let the kid sitting there ready to slide down have a chance to do so, then you might get slid into and knocked over.

  62. Dirk July 30, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Adventure Playgrounds are the future. I am surprised Lenore doesn’t have more info about them.

  63. Jen Connelly July 30, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    Well, they just banned every fun thing you can do at a park. I’ve never read the “rules” sign at our park. I’m pretty sure it says “adult supervision is required” but I rarely ever go to the park with my kids and never have since we moved here. It’s a block and a half away–I think they can handle walking there, playing and walking home. We don’t even have swings to get kicked in the head by.

    The only time there are adults there is if they are bringing their toddlers to play. Kids 6 and up go there on their own all the time. My 4yo goes with his older siblings (sometimes just him and the 8yo).

    I do know that at the parks and recreation areas that border the rivers they have signs talking about water safety (life jackets are recommended not required). It ends with “swim at your own risk.” I love the fact that swimming isn’t banned. My kids always go to the river to cook off in the summer. the one that really cracked me up was near this deck over looking the river.

    The sign was there but the only way down to the river was this really steep, narrow path, obviously forged by people pushing through the pushes and blackberry vines (very thorny). Then you have to climb down a pile of boulders. No sign saying don’t do this dangerous thing of climbing down the steep path, just don’t drown in the river while you’re down there. Love it.

  64. Andrea of Go Diaper Free July 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Wow! I thought this was made-up til I saw the photo of the sign. I wonder, is there someone policing the area to ensure adherence to stated rules? That would be even more bizarre (if that’s possible).

    Speaking of, they just posted a sticker on our neighborhood playground that says “5 yrs old and up ONLY”…my son has been playing there since he was 1. And it was practically vacant back then…we are trying to bring it back…slowly but surely kids are roaming the neighborhood freely again!!!!

  65. baby-paramedic July 31, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    The jumping pillow only had adults on it at the time, no little kids flying off into the sunset.

  66. SOA July 31, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    A lot of playgrounds around here say 5 and up but that is just meaning the equipment is designed for that target age. It does not mean anyone else is forbidden from playing on it. It is mostly a liability thing.

    I took my kids as toddlers under 5 on those type of playgrounds all the time. It just meant I had to monitor them a bit more closely than I would on a toddler designed playground.

    People are throwing a fit about a local playground that was community built with wood and its super cool and unique and been around a long time being replaced with a plastic typical playground. People don’t want the modern playgrounds. They want it the way it is. They are saying just update it and fix any parts that need to be fixed but leave it how it is.

    Their excuse for it being not safe anymore is there are nooks and crannies and you can’t see your kids well that way. Whatever. If your kids need supervision and monitoring do so, but don’t ruin it for everyone else. If you have to follow your kids around then get off your fat butt and do it, but not every kid needs that and they like it how it is. They are going to spend $300,000 on this new one and everyone says they could fix the current one for way less money than that!

  67. Jill July 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    By the time I’d say “Ok kids, let’s review the rules” my kids would have already scattered like the wind and be halfway up the jungle gym (assuming this park is un-safe enough to actually have equipment to play on…)