by Pam Ford Davis
10/09/2009 / Recreation
How big is a playground? Children frequently have structured play areas found in central locations in crowded neighborhoods or scenic city parks. Jungle gyms include swings, monkey bars and exciting long metallic slides. A small child timidly climbs the stairs and peers down a shimmering slide, building up the courage to trust them self to the giant adventure! Children with vivid imaginations quickly discover the entire living area around them can become their personal playground!
I grew up in a small neighborhood out in the country. I remember very few rules or restrictions given by any of our parents, except to watch for traffic, stay out of the crick, and out of poison ivy! We owned a simple swing set, and the outside cellar door was our slide. It did not measure very long; but it served area children well. As I remember, the door did not get opened very often. Our usual entrance door linked us from the inside hallway. The outside door found on the back of our house likely served as the entrance for coal delivery for our early heating system, before we found the luxury of central gas heat. I'm sure Dad proudly carried crates of freshly dug potatoes from his vegetable gardens through the opened door, and down the descending stairs. I don't recall practical uses, only our times of play. As we aged and outgrew our enjoyment of a slide, the door somehow adapted with us and became the perfect spot to lay out a quilt or blanket and sun-bathe. My childhood and the house I grew up in are far, far away. I wonder if neighborhood children still flock to that back yard and slide down that cellar door.
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