Senior Playgrounds (cont’d)

My post on Senior Playgrounds attracted the attention Kate Rauch, senior editor of Caring Currents. Her post led me ultimately to this clip from Good Morning America.

Thus unfolded yet another gift of the Internet – a further connection to a story, and the people, that touched the core of my faith in play.

I must admit that, now that I had become better informed, I found myself feeling slightly disappointed in the way this moment of senior enlightenupment seems to be manifesting itself. The playground had the look of one of those exercise trails. It was clearly designed to appeal to the “use it or lose it” school of mortality – not to the sense of fun, fantasy, freedom that characterizes children’s playgrounds. And it was for “seniors only.” (I find myself most attracted to the intergenerational approach, as in Intergenerational Playgrounds and this wonderful story of Intergenerational Kickball, and even the kind of play that’s being enabled by the infamous Wii).

Nevertheless, it is something to be glad about, this Senior Playground idea. And it leaves one wondering: why don’t we see things like this everywhere?

from Bernie DeKoven, funsmith


  1. catherineann on April 13, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Bernie is on to something with the intergenerational idea. I see a new model of nursing home, assisted living facility etc. with game arcades and play yards for residents, their middle age children, and their grandkids. All mixed together. And yes, the question lingers — why is the US slow on the go with senior playgrounds?

  2. Bernie on April 13, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    I love your vision, Catherineann. I hope someone picks up on it. Seems that there are a lot of financial incentives for people to put something like this together. Kind of like an enlightened Chuck e. Cheese’s.

    As for why the US is so slow to pick up on the idea of senior playgrounds, I think it’s a sign. We’ve slowed down a lot over the last eight years or so. Our political vision, our educational vision, our vision of what family really means.

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