Skip to Content

Do Playground Rules Require Playground Police?

Do Playground Rules Require Playground Police?

We played at the playground associated with this Playground Rules sign.  My husband took the kids ahead of me while I grabbed our coats from the car. It was a chilly day. Upon my arrival, my 5 year old told me: “Mommy, there’s NO playing on teeter-totters here.” (See the icon associated with Rule #1).  Hilarious! Especially because there was no teeter-totter.

So instead of just playing, already she’s worried about following the rules.

My 9 year old took one look at the sign and decided he’d rather sit out if he had to follow the “no running” and “no using the play equipment improperly” rules.  He likes to climb UP the slides when no one’s around. I assured him that the Playground Police would not be writing him a citation.  He’s not usually allowed to climb up the slides at busy playgrounds because of the toddlers around, but this one was empty. Nope. After reading the sign, his fun was spoiled and he was afraid he’d get in trouble.

I only have a few rules that I enforce:

  1. Up the ladders, down the slides. (And no headfirst down the slide).
  2. If we bring toys to the park, they must be shared.
  3. Stay where I can see you.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings (swings that might wipe you out, strangers that make you feel uncomfortable, kids that might want to take a turn on the slide you are hogging, etc.).

Then I step back and let ’em go!  Shouldn’t the rules be up to the parents?  I know they are there for liability purposes, but c’mon! Do we need to scare the kids?  I’d love to have more parents and caregivers chime in on this one.  What are some of the ridiculous rules and signs you’ve seen?  Did I miss any of the ones you enforce?

I’d also add: “Respect the park” for those kids I’ve caught throwing swings up over the poles so the little kids can’t get to them – or the ones who feel the need to write or carve their graffiti all over the place.

Here’s the BEST part! Are you ready for the punchline?  This is the playground where ALL those rules are posted:

Ewing Philbin

Friday 8th of February 2013

Regrettably, these rules are the product of frivolous litigation (parks departments are scared) and in many cases the demands of overly protective parents.

Think the play equipment is dumbed down? Thank your friendly tort attorney!


Thursday 5th of January 2012

In Germany this would bei a playground for toddlers.

Ann In L.A.

Wednesday 4th of January 2012

I find "stay where you can see me" to be more effective. The kids don't know what you are seeing, but they do know what they can see.

Silver Fang

Wednesday 4th of January 2012

No running and no tree climbing. Then people wonder why so many of today's kids are overweight.


Wednesday 4th of January 2012

Wow, the sign is bigger than the playground.

Comments are closed.