I found myself explaining to a lady at the park the other day what a ‘boundless playground’ is and realized something: I really have a playground problem. I find myself on the website for said type of playgrounds multiple times a day, as if more are going to pop up in my area.
“Hey, weirdo, what the hell are you talking about, idiot, aren’t all playgrounds the same?”
No, they’re not.
Basically, they’re considered boundless because they are accessible for everyone – disabled or not, 3-year-olds thinking they’re a daredevil or not, adults who need to get said 3-year-old off a horizontal ladder because their kid is freaking out or not. It’s an unstructured playscape that, in a nutshell, offers inclusive play for all kids. Some have one playscape for all kids while others have multiple for different age groups (ages 2-4 or ages 5-12) but no kid really abides by those restrictions.
Honestly, they’re pretty boss! There is rubberized flooring, which sure beats the hell out of the wood chips that most standard playgrounds have.
We’ve been to three playgrounds in three days — two boundless, one not — and Unit has a great time at all of them, but the boundless ones he seems to enjoy more. They are immense, offer so many dare-devilish options, rock walls, swings, slides, turny-things that Unit can’t get enough of, maze boards. You get the idea.
We’re lucky here in Connecticut since there are so damn many it’s hard to decide which one to go to, but with a 3 month-old and a sometimes impatient 3 year-old, it’s usually ones within a 15-20 minute drive. And I tend to get it done in the morning, before the weather gets too hot and the slides really start baking in the sun, because Unit refuses to go down a hot slide!
There are some drawbacks to some. One of the playgrounds relatively local to us (which we haven’t frequented this week) is awesome, but there just isn’t any shade, which is a damn shame. The one we were at today didn’t have any changing tables in the bathrooms, like where the hell are you supposed to change a diaper?
By and large, boundless playgrounds will kick the ass of your run-of-the-mill town playground. Click the link above or this one to find a boundless playground close to you. They really are all over the place and until we had Unit’s first birthday at one, I had no idea what the hell they were either, so there’s still hope you’ll be an expert in no time.
If you’re too damn lazy to check, I’ll give you some locations of boundless playgrounds near you (there may be this type of playground near you called something else, but I’m not really sure what they’re called, maybe ‘limitless’?). Long Island people, there are two – one in East Northport at the Harley Avenue Primary School and another in Cedarhurst at 200 Cedarhurst Avenue. If you live in Maryland (TJ and Jessica), you can head to one at Fairland Regional Park in West Laurel.
And seriously, this is as honest an endorsement as you’re gonna get. I wish I could – and maybe I’ll try – to build one for Unit and G$ in our backyard one day.