Critter Corner: Multigenerational Playgrounds

Dear Commander Bun Bun,
Last time my daughter, Katie, visited her grandmother, she mentioned that they went to a “playground for grandma.” I can’t imagine my 70- year old mother on the swings or climbing on the monkey bars. Katie reiterated that “it was a playground for grandmas and grandpas, and kids.” I never heard of such a thing. Do you know anything about this?
Thanks!
Cee Sawe-Enswinggs

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Dear Cee,

Playgrounds designed specifically for seniors have been around in England, Finland, Germany, and throughout Asia, and now the idea is taking off in the U.S. They feature low-impact exercise equipment designed to promote balance and flexibility, and sometimes have elliptical-type machines, static bikes, and body flexors. And, in the U.S., “senior playgrounds” are meant for multiple generations, not just for seniors.

Why are these playgrounds beneficial?
  • Better balance means fewer falls.
  • Exercise is great for the body and the mind.
  • They serve as a community gathering spot, combatting the isolation and loneliness some seniors experience.
  • Play is a great connector for adults and seniors and the children in their lives. In addition to the cognitive and physical benefits of play, it can also reduce stress in adults and is proven to help combat stress in children, as well.
DC-based, KaBOOM!, is a nonprofit organization that is working in partnership with the Humana Foundation to build multigenerational playgrounds throughout the country. Currently, KaBOOM!, has built 53 multigenerational playgrounds across America that have served 135,471 kids and 61,500 seniors, according to Sarah Pinsky, Director of Client Services at KaBOOM!. Some locations include New York City, Miami, Harrisburg, Mobile, Jackson, Greensboro, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, Kansas City, Tulsa, Nashville, Houston and Fort Worth, New Orleans, San Antonio, Riverside and Tucson. Read this article for additional details.
Hope a multigenerational playground comes to our area soon!
Commander Bun Bun

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