Ready? Set? Go!

I spent the summer of 2022 doing research for a Children's Picture Book I am creating. As I walked to and from classes, the playgrounds in Manhattan that I passed by inspired me. The weather was gratefully breezy and not too hot, at least for June and most of July, before the heatwave during the week of July 17th. My favorite parks, sights and sounds are explored here.

Map of Playgrounds

I explored 10 playgrounds around Manhattan and I tried to find a good variety in size, location and activity levels. My apartment was situated right next to the Hell's Kitchen Park and I will miss the ever-present sound of the squeaking swings.

  1. Hell's Kitchen Park: W. 47th, 10th Ave.
  2. Central Park: Ancient Playground on Museum Mile
  3. Chelsea Park: W. 19th, 9th Ave.
  4. Vesuvio Playground: SOHO, 101 Thompson St.
  5. Playground of the America's: W. Houston, 6th Ave.
  6. PS 33 Chelsea Prep: W. 26th, 9th Ave.
  7. Imagination Playground: Front St., John St., South St. near Brooklyn Bridge
  8. Ramon Aponte Park: 343 W. 47th, 9th Ave.
  9. Police Officer Moira Ann Smith Playground: Madison Square Park, 38 E. Madison Ave., 5th Ave.
  10. DeSalvio Playground: SOHO, 44 Spring St.

This little guy was attempting the monkey bars in Central Park.

The Power Stroller:
scooter, umbrella, bucket, sunscreen, bananas, anti-bacterial wipes, chips, sippy cup, water, apples, diapers, change of clothes, books, gum, jumprope and towel.

Some soothing sounds of water features...oh, and a mom cheering her son on.

These's hard to quantify all of the small and big interactions I witnessed- some between friends, others between parent and child. All of them fleeting.

I overheard this mother telling what looked to be her mother, "It's Sophia's universe, we just live in it." Here is an example of how I would scribble notes while visiting the playgrounds."

Ouch! I witnessed 5 face plants this day!

The adults were, for the most part, on alert. Some were chatting with each other, others were focused on their child and usually fell into one of the parenting style categories. Take a look.

which one are you?

OK, I admit it. I saw lots of risky playing. Some of the kids I observed were in way over their heads. I stood ready to rescue if I was needed.

Here are the sounds of high energy and adventure!

Rings of Risk

I noticed that it wasn't just the kids that were having a good time. Adults were witnessed enjoying some relaxation too!

diagram of fun

Wasn't expecting this message chalked on the wall of the playground...

message chalked on the wall

Nothing better than a hard day of play.

little girl on slide

Now, I feel like it might be time for a nap, so climb back into your stroller and let's go home.

created by Erin Casey McNichol