Here is my typical approach of drafting a new blog post:

1. Look at my blog’s homepage and realizing I haven’t posted since Nov. which is ancient history in the blogging world.

2. Decide to hate my header image … and my blog template. Proceed to spend nearly 59.99 minutes finding another suitable, minimalist blog template before realizing it costs $ to actually change the CSS sheet. Realize this is ridiculous and settle on another template from the mind blowing 15 that WordPress has to offer.

3. Finally come up with a witty blog topic before Googling the subject at hand and having  enthusiasm deflated after seeing Retro Crush & 1,000 Awesome Things having BOTH talked about it long ago.

4. Decide to not care and go forth. Thusly, here is my manifesto on why modern-day playgrounds can go gather dust and leaves for all I care. Because the playgrounds I grew up were practically a rabbit hole of wonder and oh yes, D.A.N.G.E.R.

Exhibit A: A playground I sketched a few years ago in one of those neighborhoods that seem to spring up nearly overnight. You know which ones I’m talking about. Gated communities with private playgrounds, their own sidewalks and I kid you not, their own elementary school.

Do tell, can you identify anything in the picture to the right that resembles something a child would want to play on besides that pathetic excuse for a slide? No! These plastic contraptions in their garishly bright colors have continued to replace the playground of my childhood and taking all the fun with it.

Unidentifiable tree bark has replaced sawdust, Tic Tac Toe has pushed monkey bars to the wayside and See-Saws are just mere whispers of 1994 (your kids will see your old photos and ask what strange board thing you’re sitting on). Then the horror of all horrors, the tetherball pole that entertained many a recesses has a forlorn looking piece of frayed string around a rusting pole. That’s exactly the sight I’m greeted with at my old elementary school stomping grounds. Because apparently throwing a ball around some rope is very very dangerous. And so are monkey bars. And metal slides (can’t have it heat up in the blazing hot sun and scorch your poor bum.) So what are we left with?

Empty playgrounds, that’s what. Maybe my generation is the last of its breed to run around outdoors proudly sporting scabbed knees and sun kissed cheeks. I taught myself how to ride a bike, how to ice-skate and learned to fall before I could get anywhere worth going. Video games weren’t a part of my vocabulary but now, kids are either skipping childhood and jumping headfirst into angst-ridden puberty or holed up in front of the computer playing Farmville by their web-savvy 7-year old selves.

A little touch of je ne sais pas build character. The outdoors shouldn’t be avoided but the wussy playground of current just can’t hold a 10 year old’s attention quite like YouTube. Lifelong friendships have formed from one game of FourSquare (and no, I’m not talking about the kind you can play on your iPhone.) Recesses were about camaraderie and contests on who could spin around the most on the highest metal bar.

Look how delighted these random children look! DELIGHTED!

Maybe these are the thoughts of a slightly jaded 22-year old, I already sound like one of those annoying adults who whine about how things were so much better in the ‘good old days.’ But hey, if someday money permits, maybe I’ll build an entire playground circa 1996 in my own backyard. You’re all invited.