Friday, July 20, 2012

Playing, Building, Learning

Some may say my Papa (grandfather) was a junk collector.  If you knew him you know he would NEVER consider throwing away a piece of copper wire, an old two-by-four, a rusty nail, or an unusable toilet.  He embraced the unwanted and reigned as king over his junk castle.  To him, these were ALL treasures and would one day be used to create a kingdom to be admired.

My Grandma on the other hand is meticulously clean and organized.  Perhaps they were like a married version of Felix and Oscar of the Odd Couple.  I don't think she cared for all the junk, but as long as he kept it in his designated "areas" all was good.  He had a carport, a shed, one side of their backyard and a dusty basement at one of their rentals.  He could often be found enjoying a cup of coffee in the depths of the musty basement looking over his treasure trove of discarded building supplies. I think he really felt at home amidst all the cast-offs.

Today we discovered a play area for kids that my Papa would have LOVED!  He loved kids and loved building.  He often encouraged me to build and help him when he was older.  I remember building a cat condo for my precious kitty. My Papa sat and watched me pound nails trying to make something my kitty would love.  As he got older I'd climb atop roofs to clean shingles for him and he even taught me to roof. I'm no expert, but it was fun working alongside him.

Last week we read about a park sponsored kid playground.  From the article I thought it was something new.  Little did I know, this park has been around since 1983 according to one of the employees.  And even more shocking is the fact that it's located only about a mile from our house!  How did we miss this?

The cost to play is $3 per kid.  Adults are free.  Kids need to wear tennis shoes.  If you don't have any, they have shoes the kids can wear.

Choose your shoes

Our first stop was the raft line.  Kids can raft around the shallow pond.  There's a 5 minute time limit.

Raft Dock

Outings are better with friends.

After rafting the adventurers headed to the rope bridge.

They were getting pretty wet, then there was "LAST CALL FOR MUD SLIDE!!"

Woo hoo!!!


They're in!

After the mud...a rinse off was definitely in order.  This brown-eyed guy was a bit creeped out afterward.  I think he's read too much about vicious parasites living in murky water.

In addition to all this fun, there's a building area.  Piles and piles of wood scraps sit ready for young builders to get to work.  Everyday the building structures are dismantled and await a new young crew to descend the next morning.

In the event you don't want to ride home in your muddy clothes, there are well constructed changing rooms.  While you're waiting for your brother or sister...roll some tires for fun!

Or roll in a tire...

Someone didn't play.

The Super-Hero is ready to head back home.

"Are You Ready, Mom?"

What a great afternoon!  We'll be back!

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