WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/553574

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Page 51 of 227

A Broad Swatch of Lawn But what about your children and the outdoor setting in which they will play through much of their childhood? Situating a play area on a broad swatch of lawn within easy sight of your kitchen or family room means you'll be able to keep an eye on them while preparing meals, pursuing a hobby, or working at home. But as they get older and begin the inexorable process of finding their own way in the world they may want a bit of distance from Mom and Dad. They also may seek more imaginative play opportunities than those offered by swings, a slide, and monkey bars. Perhaps a tree house set at a slight elevation would be fun, but anything above five or six feet pres- ents the risk of a fall for smaller children. After the age of 12, when eye-hand coordination and the muscular strength that accompanies adolescence renders trees and climbing walls objects for conquest, the desire for independence may trump your cautionary instructions. Often the school or municipal playground offers new experiences, both physical and social, as your children mature. But home still has its attractions. For play dates or simply as a place for your brood to enter- tain neighborhood kids after school in the fall or spring, an inviting play area can add something special to an otherwise quiet afternoon. A sheltered grove of trees or a high-growing stand of rhododendron may create a play space within easy reach of your back door or sun- room slider. That, in combination with an announcement that your refrigerator is always open for business, will add some assurance your children and their playmates remain within in close proximity and the sound of your voice. Careful Supervision Then, between putting loads of wash into the laundry, shuttling kids off to school, and getting meals on the table there may just be time for your little ones to romp about the backyard, to swing, climb, and play — all under careful supervision, of course. Dr. Mark Blumenthal, a pediatrician in practice in Weston makes note of the need for adult supervision — that and careful play area site preparation similar in many ways to the construc- tion of municipal playgrounds. "It's impossible to sanitize childhood; one can only make it safer," he says. Falls from monkey bars are a common cause of injury, and I worry about incidents in which children hit their heads and as a result have a concussion." The doctor, who estimates he sees one or two play-related injuries every few weeks, suggests a layer of soft bark mulch (rubberized materi- 50 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 5 Child's Play Lamson Park in Weston

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