I don't know what's happening in the rest of the world, but in New York, the playgrounds have all gotten an upgrade in the past year (or so) which makes them far more advanced than the playgrounds I remember as a kid. This means a few things.
The first being that I would like to play on them.
I know I'm supposed to be an adult and sit quietly on a bench while monitoring my child in the sandbox. I also know that when I follow Mazzy up a playground apparatus and she exits using the (very-fun-looking) spiral slide, I am supposed to turn around and use the stairs back whence I came.
But when I see something like the DOME in Union Square Park (pictured above), it takes all the willpower I can muster not to drop the diaper bag, ditch Mazzy in an infant swing and climb the thing myself.
The other observation I've made about the new-fangled playgrounds and their unidentifiable playing structures is that the lure of the equipment coincides with the degree of danger.
For instance, I made the mistake of standing on an irresistible looking contraption in the newly designed playground in Southampton. The thing started spinning so quickly that I'm not sure if my head exploded before or after I was flung to the ground. (I found a video of the "Death Spiral" here.)
Also, the Union Square DOME was closed briefly last year when they found it has the ability to melt your childrens' hands and asses under the scorching hot sun. (It now has a permanent awning over it.)
Add all these factors together (more fun + more dangerous + less supervision due to parents abandoning their children in order to climb the totally-awesome-looking jungle gym rock wall) and I think someone might have it in for our kids.
Think about this— everything child-related has been massively massively researched. Why do you think your kids react to the absence of Elmo like you took away their crackpipe?
Perhaps, I'm watching a bit too much FRINGE but I think there may be an underground ring of child-hating playground developers trying to wipe the earth clean of anyone under twelve. Don't believe me?
Watch this video.
Is it just me or do you totally want to try that thing?