We're All Adventurers
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
Driving home with my 6-year-old girl from a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party on a rainy day late in October, I passed a playground. From the backseat I heard, "Mom, can we stop and play?"
And, of course, with the rain coming in sheets, it wasn't an option that day, but we got on the subject of her favorite playgrounds, and I was stricken with how much she understands about everything a playground is good for.
On her elementary school playground, she said her favorite thing is the sliding pole. Why? Because it makes her feel "like an adventurer." On the playground in the park nearest to our house, she said she loves the two slides that "make it so you can race with someone." (And I'll admit to occasionally being the person racing down with her.) That playground also has her favorite swings.
The playground near her cousin's house, she said, is fun for pretending and making up adventures. When I asked why, she said it's because there's a fire truck there, but there's also a fun rock-climbing wall.
"What do you love about the playground?" I asked her.
"I love how I can meet my friends and have fun there," she said. "And the way it makes my heart beat hard when I'm running and climbing."
This month, we've got the latest trends on the playground covered, beginning with Finding the Way to Play, from natural play to energetic play and themes and more. And one thing's for certain—manufacturers seem to get better and better every year at creating playgrounds that offer kids' favorite things to do: interact with their friends of all abilities, imagine themselves in another time or place, have grand adventures, and move and strengthen their bodies.
But, of course, all of that fun doesn't stop at the edge of the safety surface. There are many offerings found at recreation, sports and fitness facilities that provide the same kinds of outlets for kids and adults of all ages. That's why we're taking a closer look this month at developing a niche for your fitness programming. Turn to Fitness Gets Personal to learn more about how you can tailor your fitness offerings to meet the needs of specific groups, and to find out more about the value of personal and small group training.
If you're looking to ensure your facilities are more inclusive, find out about upcoming updates to the ADA Access Guidelines. In feature story Change Is Coming to ADA, we take a look at changes around the bend for parks, beaches and other facilities.
And in page Playing With Water: Sprayground Operations, we offer a look inside some of the ongoing trends associated with spraygrounds, which offer yet another avenue to adventure for children.
As November sets in and the air gets chilly, what kinds of adventures do you have planned? Whether it's something fun you're doing just for yourself or a new program or facility offering you're rolling out for your community, I hope it's a hit.
Have a wonderful holiday season!
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