Wayne TobeyDid you know that the playground originated in Germany in 1848? Henry Bernard had an idea for a large, shaded area for teachers to watch children play with wooden blocks, toy carts and rotary swings. Bernard’s idea was to teach children how to play fairly and develop good manners in school. However, the first public access playground was erected in a park in Manchester, England, in 1859. It took another 39 years before the first American playground was built in 1887 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California. This playground had swings, slides and a carousel.

Playgrounds provide an unstructured space for children to explore, learn and to develop physically and emotionally. A playground is a great place for children to play, exercise, use their imagination and interact with their peers. Interacting with other children encourages problem-solving and team-building skills. It’s hard to imagine a better space for children to experience physical and developmental activities.

As our world grows more connected with technology, it is important that we encourage children to play outdoors and engage in physical activities to combat early childhood obesity and enhance their social skills. Therefore, our playgrounds must stay relevant and creative for today’s children. As we begin to replace our current playgrounds, it is my goal to introduce themed playgrounds where children are free to explore and create their own imaginative experiences. To see all the amenities these parks offer, visit coconutcreek.net. Then, take your child to a playground and be active.

Creek Playgrounds

The city’s first playground opened in 1973 at Donaldson Park. Now, there are 15 playgrounds at the 13 parks.

Coco Point Park, 4870 NW 6th St. (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels)

Community Center, 1100 Lyons Road (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels, NEOS electronic play apparatus)

Cypress Park, 2465 NW 49th Terrace (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels)

Donaldson Park, 900 NW 43rd Ave. (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels)

George S. Gerber, 4715 NW 30th St. (slides, climbers, play panels)

Lakeside Park, 5555 Regency Lakes Blvd. (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels)

Lakewood Park, 4966 NW 10th St. (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels)

Pond Apple Park, 4444 NW 22nd Road (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels)

Recreation Complex, 4455 Sol Press Blvd. (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels, rock climber, interactive music apparatus)

Sabal Pines Park, 5005 NW 39th Ave. (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels)

Sunshine Drive Park, 346 Sunshine Drive (interactive climber, tot swings, swings)

Windmill Park, 700 Lyons Road (in renovation)

Winston Park Nature Center, 5201 NW 49th Ave. (slides, tot swings, swings, climbers, play panels)