Category Archives: See-Saw

Teetering on the Brink of Extinction?

In some jurisdictions a longish trek is needed to teeter your totter on a see-saw. They are not as common as they once were in PlayGroundology’s Halifax home. It’s quite possible that the genteel wilds of Kejimkujik National Park’s campgrounds about 2 1/2 hours out of the city have a healthier and more robust see-saw population.

DSC01739Keji National Park playground – Nova Scotia, Canada

I hope Keji’s red see-saws have protected status. Their well-being and continued existence should be championed if ever public pressure due to misguided fears related to safety results in calls for their removal.

See-saws are one of the mighty trio of conventional playground equipment along with slides and swings. They have been much maligned in recent years as harbingers of injury. Granted kids have to be taught not to get off and let their friend plummet to earth. Likewise it’s important to ensure that one’s chin is nowhere near the upward trajectory when sending the equipment whistling up and down with the force of one’s arms while standing on the ground. Then I guess we shouldn’t discount the fear of falling off while at the top of the game…

Not all is lost, in some places the see-saw is flourishing. If big is a public display of affection and acceptance then Berlin is a safe habitat. Potsdamer Platz’s Tilla-Durieux Park offers rides on super-sized see-saws possibly the largest scale in the world. This space teeters on imaginative ups with none of the tottering associated with overly cautious downs.

1499502228_6eb078314a_oPotsdamer Platz, Berlin. Photo credit – Sebastian Niedlich. License – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Despite their standard lever and fulcrum make-up, see-saws do come in various guises as depicted in the Teeter-Totterus flicker gallery. Eighteen fine photos from flickr photographers.

Before dispensing with the ups and downs completely I thought it worthwhile to share some research. Behold a class experimenting with physics. Where was this school when I was a teenager?

Long live the see-saw – respect their right to rise, fall and rise again.

Teeter my Totter says Cecily G to Curious George

We love checking out a good used clothing emporium. Love might be a bit strong for my connection to these events but it’s not far off base for Mélanie. Nova Scotia boasts a network of second hand clothing outlets under the banner Frenchys. There are incredible savings to be had on quality clothes for the kids. Used books and toys are also in the mix.

A few days ago we uncovered a gem at one of the locations – H. A. Rey’s Cecily G. and the 9 monkeys. As a lover of Curious George, I just couldn’t resist. I wasn’t familiar with the story but saw right away that it predated George as a solo act. This first book by Rey was also George’s debut into the world of kidlit. We all enjoyed the story once we got home. Being the playground bums we are, we thought the drawing below was a blast, an anatomical and anthropomorphic wonder illustrating imaginative play.

From Cicely G. and the 9 monkeys.  Copyright, 1942 by H. A. Rey

If you haven’t read the book, it’s good fun. Check your local library.