No matter where I travelled in Cardiff, these old relics kept cropping up. Some so weary from service that actual mascara drenched tears seemed to have appeared rolling down their cheeks from the strain of service! When visiting these parks in the winter with no children to be seen, it is hard to imagine why these rather gothic looking animals have remained whilst the new apparatus surrounding them make it obvious that the playground has been revamped many times. However as the weather picks up and the children again ascend onto the playgrounds once more, I saw how these animals in spite of their rugged appearance, still held great resonance with the children. You can see on the picture above how one child has taken to feeding grass to a bin disguised as a dolphin rather than playing with the apparatus in the playground.
One question I did find myself asking was could these animals in our playgrounds be more relevant to their surrounding area. This way the playground might help to advance the children’s vocabulary of the wonderful array of wildlife that is quite literally in their back garden. In this way children might be encouraged to build a relationship with the natural world around them.