A playground that seems dangerous to many adults provides a brand of freedom for kids to take risks through play that is gradually going extinct.
Aah the good old days when we used to roam loose until lunch or dinner or dark. We used to make forts, fish, float down rivers, have apple wars or ball games. If we needed tools we would just take them from our parents shops. Self preservation taught us which end was the dangerous one. We played with fire. I remember watching in awe as my honey covered army men were melting on an ant hill. We jumped out of trees or fell...semantics. We were kids, we even learnt our own medical triage and first aid.
We also used to have shop class in middle school.
Whappen? Maybe it was budget cuts or a fear of injuries. Students want to know how things work. I've witnessed it first hand as 3 grade 4 girls figured out how to take apart a stop watch. Reassembly was not on the books afterwards, but the inquiry and curiosity was there. Perhaps shifts in public perception detract from any trades as a good career paths. I wonder if this is what has rendered many students disinterested in understanding how things are made and how they work. In a disposable economy they've been taught to just buy a new one because it costs so much to fix it. Thank you Wall Street! Well if we teach our students that they can be fixers and makers perhaps we can inspire a revival of skills and trades in North America that are sadly under staffed.
Who knows? Maybe a revival of reuse and recycle might take on a renewed sense of importance.