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Berserker's avatar

What kind of playgrounds did you play in as a kid?

Asked by Berserker (33485points) July 3rd, 2011

When I was little, most of the playgrounds I played in, either from school or public playgrounds, were basically made of metal and wood. Some had bridges, nets to climb, twirly slides, (most plastic, but some were metal) bridges made out of tires that you walked over or crawled inside of. Little huts, fireman poles, wooden ladders with chains, tire swings, stuff like that.
There were also teeter totters, but those were extremely rare. I only saw them in really old playgrounds, but I loved those.
My favourite playground things were always swings though. I could spend hours on those.
As I grew older, I witnessed the transition of wooden playgrounds to plastic and metal playgrounds. It seemed that all the areas around me updated their playgrounds and replaced them with modern equipment. Of course, being older by then, my interest was lost, but it’s a random thing I just thought of. Playground equipment today mostly still seems the same, but to me, they do appear to take less room, tires are completely gone, and they do seem a bit safer.
What kind of playgrounds did you play in? And what was your favourite thing to play in/on/whatever?

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28 Answers

plethora's avatar

I did not have playgrounds. I played in the woods, playing war games, battles, swinging over creeks on vines. Digging large holes to live in. Imagination, sweat and dirt was the heart of it all and every single one of us loved it.

I am so glad the plastic industry had not yet taken a liking to playground structures. It would have been so damn hard to burn them down, although I surely would have tried. Hell, I sometimes feel like doing it now. I hate colorful plastic “play” structures. I wish the entire idiotic industry would go down in flames.

TexasDude's avatar

At my elementary school.

It was big, made of old wood, and filled with exposed nails, chains, tires, and so on. It was completely unsafe, and totally awesome. My mom and uncle played on it before me when they went to elementary school.

It was recently torn down and replaced by a pink and neon green plastic monstrosity that looks like some kind of aborted plastic tuba baby.

Berserker's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard That old playground sounds like total kickshit. I liked the ones that had a lot of height.

And lol tuba baby.

@plethora Yeah, I was a big fan of the woods down by the river, myself. Made tepees from dead trees and shit with my dad, or ran around pretending I was fighting monsters. It was pretty epic. Still loved me wooden playgrounds though.

TexasDude's avatar

@plethora thank you sir. I definitely played in the woods my share too. My friends and I had an “empire” that spanned a few dozen acres that was connected by trails we cleared ourselves. We had our own military command structure, our own currency, religion, and number system. It was badass.

@Symbeline it was. I miss it. I used to lead games of live action super mario brothers around on it. It made a bitchin’ Bowser’s castle.

Berserker's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Super Mario, that’s awesome lol.

Kardamom's avatar

We had metal jungle gyms and metal “gymnastics” bars. Some kids got hurt pretty badly, including broken bones. I had the wind knocked out of me once from falling off the top of the monkey bars and once, when learning how to do “sit arounds” on the gymnastics bars. I thought I was dead. I also saw a kid “fly” off of one of those swingy-things that had a pole in the middle and a rack like thing that swung around and around. You had to hang on, and there was a lot of centifugal force. One kid couldn’t hang on and flew about 100 feet from the toy and landed on very hard, gravel area. I think she got pretty cut up and broke a limb. I also saw kids jump out of the swings onto hard blacktop. At least one kid ended up with a spllit lip and most kids, ended up with some kind of bleeding scrapes and bruises.

I’m glad that they’ve made the modern sets a little bit more safe, and the ground around them is cushy instead of hard.

I’ll tell you a little secret though. The swings had these smooth metal poles, like buttresses that held up the swing set. They were super-slippery but fun to climb. Wanna know why? Because all of the girls found out that you could have a really good time down there when climbing up those poles

woodcutter's avatar

Only what was at grammar school. Metal swings, monkey bars ,see saws, basketball court. It was a familiar sound when someone would go down the slide( wearing shorts) ,that was also shiny metal, and hear their skin screech and burn from the friction.

Berserker's avatar

@Kardamom Yeah, fireman poles did that to me. ^^

Lots of injuries with the older sets, yeah. That’s some pretty alarming accidents you’re describing. I also loved monkey bars, I never see those around anymore, besides the classic horizontal ladder.

@woodcutter Haha yeah, not something I’m unfamiliar with. Just sitting on em burns bad in hot weather.

My greatest playground injuries were from toboggan slides in the Winter though.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Our schools had different configurations of metal bars and swings surrounded by sand pits. Our Girl’s Club though had a merry-go-round and a fancy “modern” slide of fiberglass that had a twist in it. I suspect it was actually a donation from someone’s backyard pool remodel project.

The most fun I remember was driving to a public park in town that was all sand, huge painted cement sculptured animals and creatures that were slides or climbing things. These things were scratchy on the outside like regular cement but painted with smooth glaze on the parts you were supposed to slide around on. There were several configurations of giant dragon slides, castle, whales, fish, frogs, snail, etc. In my later years I was told the park had gone into disrepair which really disheartened me. Oh well, sweet memories.

Berserker's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Ah, yeah, that sounds fun. I remember going to a super huge playground that had its equipment shaped like pirate ships. You had to pay to get in, but what you’re saying reminds me of that.

And merry go rounds are awesome. ...even if you fall off and get your leg stuck under it and it scalps your skin off…XD

woodcutter's avatar

@Symbeline Merry go rounds. I busted my ass so bad on one of those when it going so fast it spun me into all those metal handles and rung my bell pretty hard. Somebody please find a link to the clip where some idiots laid a motorcycle against one and used the tire to spin it so fast it launched the guy off like a rocket. I’m sort of needing a laugh right now.

YARNLADY's avatar

Just to be fair, the ones who didn’t make it out of their childhood because of injuries aren’t here to say“It never hurt me”, are they? Personally, I’m glad the taxpayer insurance is lowered by safety first. Stories of those of us who were the lucky ones just don’t carry much weight with me.

athenasgriffin's avatar

We had plastic and metal monkey bars, which me an my friends all loved until a girl played on them and her arm broke so bad the ivory bone poked out of her skin and her hand hung at an awful angle. After that, we avoided the monkey bars. Everyone did.

linguaphile's avatar

for you @woodcutter! Here

My favorite part is how this guy actually is concerned about his cigarette, puffs, puffs then makes sure his cig is given to a friend. Sheesh.

I had metal playground equipment and learned really young how to position my butt for the best velocity to shoot off the bottom of the slide. I think most of us learned how to protect ourselves from serious injury, but there was always a bigger kid that enjoyed tossing little ones off the merry-go-round.

For a safer version that you might wanna try (looks like no age limit) look here

woodcutter's avatar

LMAO, yeah that’s the one. Thanks. I don’t know why it’s funny when people do dumb things but it is. One of my faves, only because this poor kid had no playground.

linguaphile's avatar

Ask that question @woodcutter. “Why is it panty-wetting funny when people do dumb and GROSS things, and if you don’t find it funny, why not?”

aprilsimnel's avatar

Metal monkey bars, metal spiral slides, metal rocker things on springs, metal swing sets with hard plastic horsey sit-upons, that’s what I grew up with. Concrete, blacktop and wood chips for garnish. At school we had see-saws and old semi tires that had been bolted together as a jungle gym.

I think the worst injury I ever got, fortunately, was a splinter in my knee, easily removed with tweezers.

woodcutter's avatar

@linguaphile I think someone has asked something like that already a while ago. I think it has something to do with sick twisted minds.

chewhorse's avatar

Never had playgrounds in my youth so we’d have to imagine being amused. One of my best amusements was to climb a tree then envision my younger brother as an ant.

Plucky's avatar

I rarely got to play in playgrounds as a kid. I grew up on a farm. We played in the old unused barn, pasture and trees a lot. We played with the dogs, cats and other farm animals. We played war games, hide and seek, and something called “Murder in the Dark” when we were a bit older. We rode our bmx’s, trikes and mini dirtbikes. We climbed trees and climbed up on old sheds located all over our property. We built forts in the bushes. In the winter, the snow drifts were incredibly high so we built tunnels through many of the drifts (like an ant house). We used to go up on the old barn roof with our sleds and slide off of it into the snow drifts.
Lots of imagination, sweat and dirt as @plethora said.

I always saw playgrounds when we went to town (or visiting my mom in a city). On the odd chance we got to go to a playground, they were always wooden with metal slides. The ground underneath them were usually made of sand, dirt or red sharp pebbles (this red substrate was always in the city where my mom lived). There were teeter totters, wooden swings attached to chains, sometimes a tire swing, tractor tire swings (made for a bunch of kids to ride), metal animals on big springs, monkey bars, tires and metal slides (usually two – one big wide one and one high spiral one).

ucme's avatar

The streets were my playground, I mean anything & everything was utilised for the purposes of fun. Schools & other assorted buildings were basically things to climb & then jump off. In fact buildings seemed to feature regularly, deralict ones being a particular source. Nothing like having an adventure in a darkened shell of a place. Trees were another constant in my playground, climb them, build a swing etc. We would use street lights as “Batman poles” too.

flutherother's avatar

We lived near woods and by the sea and so we didn’t use the playground much. The playground in our town was small. It had two sets of swings, one for younger kids with seats that locked you in. There was a roundabout, a thing called a ‘cheesecutter’ that swung back and forwards and up and down. There were monkey bars and a shute. To make the shute more exciting we would slide down head first or scariest of all upside down and on our backs.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

They were mostly metal,except for the swing seats which were like a heavy canvas that soaked up rainwater.Sit down on that and you have a new look.
The ground was covered in a thick layer of small pebbles that were meant to cushion the blow when you leapt from the wet swing seat and landed on your face.
The stones produced a nice textured look which complemented the pee pants quite nicely.

Plucky's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Ohhh, yes the canvas seats. I forgot about those! They were heavy canvas with a small stripe across the middle (I think a dirty white with a red or black stripe). I remember they were like sponges for the amount of water they absorbed. Hilarious.

downtide's avatar

Farmyards, fields and woods.

Berserker's avatar

Woods always rock. The few chances I’ve had to mess around in old farms were cool too, but I ended up hurting myself bad one time…XD

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