As school gets out, summer really gets underway and we enjoy the big holiday weekends in Canada and the US, I thought it was time, once again, to pay tribute to playground bloggers. These are the people who photograph, map and write about playgrounds at the local level. Through their efforts – yes, let’s admit it’s a lot fun too – families have access to valuable information on playgrounds beyond their immediate neighbourhoods. Frequently, these blogs are the only source of comprehensive information on these community play resources in their respective jurisdictions.
Disclaimer – I am partial and sympathetic to the playground blogger cause. It’s how the playground world hooked me – details at the end of this post.
If you live in a community where there is a playground blogger on the loose doing their thing to share the wonderful world of play, take a moment to surf their site, to discover play venues in other parts of your city. Even better, engage your friendly playground blogger by contributing content, suggestions and story leads.
On the other hand, if there is no playground blog in your town or city, maybe it’s something you might want to consider taking on yourself or with a group of friends. The key commitment is time and perhaps some self guided learning on standard social media platforms. Browse through the blogs below for ideas and inspiration….
If you’re in the vicinity of Boston with kids, paying homage perhaps to the long Stanley Cup drought being broken, then you’ll want to go hunting with Angelika.
We’re a couple of parents hunting for playgrounds. We have two wonderful children, Alex and Jennifer, who like to get out and run around. We like to get out too, and going to playgrounds is an excellent way to burn off some of our children’s energy (so that they have nice long naps).
Cambridge Commons, Harvard. Photo Credit – Playground Hunt
We got bored with the couple of playgrounds we knew about and started looking for more. Then our friends started asking us about where they all were, and suddenly we were working on this website.
As is usually the case, children are the inspiration for parental playground blogging. Their playground joy is enough to get mama and papa exploring the city core and suburbs for playscapes that will add variety to what is available in the home neighbourhood. A blog’s digital word of mouth can have a broad reach. A blog is more sustainable though as photos, mapping and narrative are always available for consultation.
On Canada’s BC coast, Eleanor has created a real delight for playground lovers in Victoria and Vancouver. I haven’t seen any post yet for 2011 but the work that Eleanor has put together is top notch like her brilliant masthead – all fun and colour.
Swings and Roundabouts was started in Spring 2009 by Eleanor and her 2.5 year old boy, let’s call him ‘A’ who went on a mission to find the best playgrounds around Victoria BC.
Parksville Playground, Victoria. Photo Credit – Swings and Roundabouts
Eleanor is a thirty-something originally from the UK and ‘A’ is a nearly-three, born and bred in Victoria. Together they race from playground to playground dragging baby ‘S’ along. Having just learned new clapping skills, ’S’ is only too happy to cheer them on.
All of the playgrounds in this collection have been lovingly documented. ‘A’ and ‘S’ undoubtedly had a good time on the circuit with Eleanor doing the research and testing needed to tell the playground stories. I hope they will all be back later this year with more playground tales from British Columbia.
On the UK side of the pond, Kath is running about England taking beautiful photos of parks and playgrounds.
I spend lots of time outdoors, either with my three year old daughter, or training for and competing in running races. I get bored easily and am always searching for new places to visit.
Stamford Park, Altrincham, England. Photo Credit – parklover
Parklover is all about sharing photos and descriptions of these places, so that other people can enjoy them as much as we do.
There is plenty of enjoyment to be had from Kath’s palette. The mixture of parks and playgrounds is so complementary. Many thanks for taking us through the England you know.
There will be more playground bloggers to come in the following month or two. My own entry – PlayGround Chronicles – will celebrate its second birthday later this week.
If you’re curious, the original Global Playground Bloggers post featuring play advocates from California and New Jersey can be read here.