One of the duties that I enjoy during teaching hours is monitoring behavior on the playground. My intervention depends largely on the ages of students. While the kindergarteners are docile and content to play on swings or slides, the more mature fourth and fifth graders are likely to engage in chases, bullying and acrobatics.
A colleague and I were having a discussion on child behavior and we reflected on the abandon and recklessness of some behavior. One of my personal favorites is the absolute lack of concern about ubiquitous untied shoelaces. Kids will take off at top speed in spite of knowing that their shoes are untied.
We went on to reflect about how this scene would look with forty-somethings instead of K through 5. This is what I imagine the conversions would entail at that age.
Looks like we could have some fun on this equipment. I wonder if it’s safe. Think that I’ll pass for today – I just had a manicure and don’t want to mess it up. My hair just wouldn’t withstand that type of strain. Can’t imagine that there’s no place to just sit and relax. What time do they serve hors doeuvres and wine?
It becomes more amusing to imagine seniors observing playground equipment and contemplating participation.
Boy, do I remember the playground equipment we had as kids. It didn’t look anything like this. There were never any colors – it was always steel gray. My knees and feet ache just thinking about getting on any of this. Do we have to do it? You would think that they would provide something that was ADA approved. I think I’ll just find someplace quiet and comfortable to sit. But look at Agnes. She looks as if she thinks she’s still a child. How in the world can she be so reckless? Watch out, Agnes – you could pull a muscle or worse!!!!!
My visits to many skilled nursing facilities and vacation resorts have never displayed any playground equipment or sandboxes except those dedicated to vacationing children. Most likely, we’ll probably not witness any of the conversations I’ve created. But it’s still amusing to fast forward for these kids, with the implied message that they should enjoy themselves while they have the energy and physical stamina to do so. Shalom.
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