Yeah, when you’re a parent, you’re going to end up at playgrounds a lot: for parties, for playdates, for the “must tire kids out so they go down for a nap” moments in your life. For years I used to review city nightlife and cover restaurant openings for a popular men’s lifestyle site. Now what thrills me isn’t a new cocktail or interviewing the latest celebrity chef, but seeing the newest playground equipment people dream up these days. (BTW, the slides these days look nothing like the ones I flew down — probably at dangerous speeds — when I was a kid, and what’s with the ban on merry-go-rounds?)
But I’m such a neighborhood snob (aka too lazy to drive) that I rarely venture out of my own area, so I’ve admittedly denied my own daughter the potentially magical playgrounds beyond Los Feliz. Besides, with Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, at my doorstep, why leave? Here’s why: just that small change in your routine can revive your own curiosity and desire for adventure, even if it’s just visiting the next city over.
One Sunday I went to meet my friend B and her family for a playdate at Brace Canyon Park in Burbank, California, where, indeed, the mom in me had that “wow, what a playground” response to what this hilly park in the middle of suburbia had to offer: outdoor musical instruments. It’s an awesome sound garden.
In an age where budget cuts mean less kids are being exposed to music education or a variety instruments, along with the benefits associated with such instruction, bringing instruments into the playground was a more than welcomed sight. And they are really instruments for all, not just kids.
Companies like Freenotes Harmony Products are inspiring the budding musicians in all of us to make beautiful noise at public parks. And don’t they sound very Rockabye Baby-esque?
Here’s to keeping music education in our schools.
See how to make your own homemade musical instruments to share with your kids/future rock stars.