The playground

The playground is a recent invention, and is constantly developing as the needs of users, small and large, become more specific and attentive.

(ph. Shutterstock)

Ever played “hopscotch”?

Until a few decades ago, children played in the street or in the yard. To play “hopscotch” was enough a chalk or a stone with which to draw the squares on the sidewalk.

The playground as we know it today is actually a recent invention. It consists of an equipped space where you can freely play and exercise, and was initially born in the city (at green areas, schools, oratories, shopping areas …) to make up for the lack of safe spaces to play outdoors.

Even more recent is the extension of the concept of play area from the space for children to the adult population in general, with the creation of open spaces with gymnastic or sports equipment proper. And from here, the space equipped for outdoor activities has expanded from the urban environment to the territory in general, so that areas are equipped for play and fitness in natural areas or along cycle paths (as in the case, which here we are taking as an example, Valtellina).

The classic slides, swings and merry-go-rounds have been flanked by new inventions such as spring games, small houses, cable cars and rope pyramids; while the integration with the needs of older adults has shown the way to combine with paths for bmx, slopes and ramps for skateboards, fitness equipment and calisthenic: arriving at the outline of play areas also equipped with single themes, no longer intended for children’s games but open to all.