Photo By: cwwycoff1 (Flickr)
When I grew up, I always had so much fun going out onto the playground with my friends at school when it was time for recess, or even having my parents bring my sisters and I to the local public playground in our neighborhood. Playgrounds were a big part of my childhood, because I loved being active, but they're certainly not the same as they once were.
Now, there are playgrounds in the United States and around the world that are incredible in that they're unique. There are ideas behind them, which become reality, and enhance the experiences for children like never before. I've been to some of these 'new-age' type of playgrounds with my children, and the look on their faces has been outstanding.
Here is a list of some of the most amazing playgrounds around the world, and if you're in the particular area, you have to make time to check out!
- Teardrop Park (New York City, New York) – Costing over $17 million to put together, Teardrop Park in New York City is a 1.8 acre park located in Manhattan that features slides, secret paths, rock outcroppings, unique geological formations, and so much more. Perhaps the most unique aspect about Teardrop Park is in regards to why it went from being an idea to a reality. The park was designed with the idea of addressing the urban child's lack of natural experience, thus having the park be there to offer children adventures to benefit both their mind and body. The factors in the park like the water and rocks help to accomplish this goal.
- Yerba Gardens (San Francisco, California) – This park in San Francisco, known as Yerba Gardens, is on my list of the most amazing playgrounds in the world. Take it from me, as I've taken my children here when we were on the west coast, and having seen it, it's incredible. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this playground is that it's on a rooftop of a building that includes both an ice skating rink and a bowling center. Not only that, but there is history to it, as the park at Yerba Gardens includes a carousel carved by hand that was made in 1906, and it's undoubtedly the centerpiece of the park.
- Nishi-Rokugo (Tokyo, Japan) – The days of only having tire swings on a playground are a thing of the past. In Japanese, the translation for 'Nishi-Rokugo' is 'Tire Park.' This unusual, yet very unique playground is comprised of over 3,000 tires. At this massive playground, the tires make up things like bridges, swings, slides, and even monsters. At this park, there are even loose tires for children to play with. Nishi-Rokugo in Tokyo is a unique site worth checking out if you're ever in Japan!
- Clemyjontri Park (Fairfax County, Virginia) – The name is unique, and so is the playground itself. Located in Virginia, Clemyjontri Park is the great because it's one of only a few playgrounds where disabled children can play with those without disabilities. At the park, the ground's surface is created with a slip resistant material, and perhaps most importantly, the entire park has ramps for wheelchairs.
- The Fruit and Scent Playground (Liljeholmen, Spain) – Located in Spain, the Fruit and Scent Playground's most unique quality is the message that it sends. It's no secret that childhood obesity has become a problem in this day and age over the last several years, therefore the message this playground sends to children is that it's important to eat healthy, and to avoid junk food as much as they can. There is a banana slide, cherry swings, strawberry swingers, and more.
When it comes to modern day playgrounds, it's certainly much more than I grew up with! Now, these modern day playgrounds have a vision behind them when they're created, as we have moved past the days of having just a sandbox and some swings. Have you visited any of the above playgrounds in the past, and are there any you have been to that you have found to be fascinating? Let me know in the comments below!
Find more about the author: Kim Hart