How do you get kids back outside — and, incidentally, revitalize narcoleptic neighborhoods?
You bring in risk.
This New Zealand playground was designed to give kids a lot more “wheee” — or maybe “aghhh!” — for the buck.
More than 6000 children contributed to the early stages of the playground’s development through the BNZ Amazing Place competition.They sent in their wild ideas for the ultimate playground, each dreaming bigger and better than the one before. They dreamt up “rocket lands”, dragon slides into sandpits, native fish aquariums and “dolphin rockers”.
They wanted flying foxes that went through dark tunnels and splashed down into lakes – “Every parent’s worst nightmare,” Rob says.
“Beneficial risk” is the fancy term for enough risk to kids get excited and engaged. They are simultaneously learning how to push themselves (to the point where it’s scary) and hold themselves back (from the point where it gets too out of control). Those are lessons even anyone adult (particularly those investing in stocks) should learn.
But it’s really a lesson for cities and towns. You can’t just build a playground and hope that people will come. Look around and you’ll see enough empty playgrounds to figure that out.
A playground must entice the kids with something more than a red, blue and yellow climbing structure. And the reason it has to entice kids is that kids entice other kids — the best playthings of all. And a city teeming with kids is a city teeming with life.
Which is the perfect segue to the fact that TOMORROW is “Take Our Children to the Park…and Leave Them There” Day. Even if you don’t care one whit about kids having fun and learning how to play, think of your property values! Towns that are safe and lively and warm (as evidenced by kids frolicking where they can be seen without X-Ray goggles) are towns where people want to live.
Send your kids out as little real estate ambassadors! – L.