Misadventure playground

Monday 16 December 2013 04:40
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Once upon a time, monkey bars, the see-saw and hide-and-seek were as familiar to children as the Teletubbies. But we are worried that healthy, outdoor frolics in the local park could be going the same way as the hula hoop or the spinning top. The warning comes from the Children's Society and Children's Play Council; it seems the nation's scamps are deserting local parks and playgrounds, because they are too boring.

And indeed they are. Some local authorities forbid bike-riding, some have set their cannon against climbing equipment, and stories even reach us that in one school "daisy-chain" construction was outlawed after official concerns about "germs". Perhaps those dismal adults whose fears of costly litigation have led them to wring the joy from young lives should remember a wise saying: "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive/ But to have grazed knees was very heaven."

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