Each August, the youngest children of the Glenn family experience the excitement, anticipation, and sometimes trepidation that accompanies the first day of school. Eager and nervous parents hold the hands of eager and nervous preschoolers and toddlers as they walk into the building. You can almost see the fears and shyness melt away, however, when the children behold the playground. They step onto that hallowed ground and are instantly drawn to the physical and imaginative play that awaits them. I wonder how the playground has become a part of their vast and creative imaginations over these last couple of months since school started? There is something magical about the playground.
From an adult’s point of view, we’re extremely fortunate to have such a large space for children of all ages (yes, teenagers still play on the playground), shaded by the trees and protected from the street. From a child’s point of view, we have castles, a drawbridge, sandy beaches, an Olympic track, horses, and launchpads to outer space. Just listen to the magic our children create on the playground. Then take it a step further - join their trip to the moon or their perilous climb up the mountain. Make some new memories and just have fun. There is something magical about the playground.
Some of my favorite memories involve the “old” Glenn playground, before the current structures were put in around 25 years ago. I reveled in being old enough to go up “the big hill,” pretended to drive the train to far off places, and swung on the swings high enough to touch the leaves in the trees. My kids have their own memories of the current playground structures. It was the site of a third generation wedding at Glenn - my then-5-year-old-daughter pretend-married her Glenn Kindergarten classmate there one spring day. It was also where she lost her first tooth. My kids have played hour upon hour on the playground and have relished milestones - learning to pump on the swings, conquering the fire pole, playing soccer with the big kids, running races on the track. Feelings of frustration turn to elation when a new skill is mastered; their proud, beaming smiles broadcasting their joy. There is something magical about the playground.
But equipment wears down. Beloved parts of the playground break and need repair more frequently. Updated safety standards teach us ways that we can improve our playgrounds so that our children can continue to experience the joys of play without fear of getting hurt on aging equipment. What a blessing that our playground has had so many children on it for so long!
Now it is time to envision and facilitate play with a new playground. As the playground committee is hard at work getting the logistics in place, we can do our part to help create the magic by donating to the Playground Makeover Fund. Your donation will ensure that children will be enjoying our playground for another 25 years and beyond. Will your children or grandchildren be making new memories and creating their own magic for years to come on the new Glenn playground because you helped fund it? There is something magical about the playground. What kind of magic will you help create?