In the good old days, we played outside in the street or at a neighborhood park till the cows came home … or rather, till our moms hollered, “Bedtime!” But these days, that kind of unstructured, outdoor play is rapidly evaporating. KaBOOM, the nonprofit playground advocates, has been working with communities to build playgrounds, esp in low-income neighborhoods, where kids are 20-60% more likely to be obese. (The playgrounds are community efforts, with kids helping with the designs. Needless to say, kids want slides, swings and clubhouses, but they’ve also asked for dinosaur fossils and … a shark. Love it!)
That said, there are other ways to get kids outdoors and playing, and parents can help. KaBOOM suggests hosting a neighborhood Play Day, scouting out neighborhood play areas, and opting for a little free, retro fun – hula hoops, fort building and hopscotch.