Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Whole World is Our Playground - Jean Sibelius Square

This Toronto playground was recommended via Torontoist in their Best Playgrounds feature.  This central park was conveniently close to a weekend errand to exchange a warped record that Chris purchased in the Annex.  What can make Chris's first world hipster errands a little more fun?  A giant spider web climbing structure of course!

My park review disclaimer: If you don't live in the area I hope you enjoy the pics and can use some of the ideas to inspire and explore in your own city. If you have any recommendations for great playgrounds (or new criteria I haven't thought of) please post a comment on this post or email me.

Park Name:
Jean Sibelius Square

50 Kendal Ave (Near Bathurst and Dupont)

 There is a decent amount of parking on the street by the parkette.  The playground is a 12 minute walk from Bathurst Subway Station.

Theme of Park:
 Small spaces meets big fun in central Toronto.

Ground Coverage:
 Sand, much to Miss Molly's chagrin.

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
 This park has playground equipment in two main areas, a gated one for toddlers who are more likely to make a beeline for the street and a more open area for older kids.  There were washrooms and drinking fountains in big and little kid sizes available for use.  Most of the children around the play area ranged from two to ten years old.

Best Part(s) of the Park:
This playground has great equipment for all ages and some strategic viewpoints/perches for adults supervising kids of a variety of ages.  The spider web climber, climbing wall and flying saucer swing were actively used by older kids as well as our little acrobat Jack.  Molly preferred the little play house in the toddler area and the slide embedded in the hill.

The spider web equipment and wall climbers requires active supervision for younger kids which would be difficult if you were dividing your attention.  Many of the adults present in the park while we were there paid greater attention to their tablets than their children.  A guardian of a four year old sat idly by while his son threw toy cars, trucks and bikes into the playhouse (at Jack) while he was playing.  When I stepped in to protect Jack from a concussion little Connor was simply told to watch where he was throwing things.  The guardian's eyes never left his iPhone, even when 30 seconds later Connor grabbed the ball Jack was playing with, shoved Jack and ran away.   I know my children are also capable of Connoresque behaviour, but I'm right there to correct and umm, supervise, phone video game scores be damned.

Overall Rating:
I rate this playground a 4/5 but it could grow a half point as the kids get older and as I gain more confidence in Jack's ability to navigate the spider web without earning a concussion from a fall or blunt head trauma from Connor. 

To read my review of Jeff Healey Playground click here

To read my review of Marie Curtis Playground click here

To read my review of Dufferin Grove Playground click here

To read my review of Neshama Playground click here

To read my review of Vermont Square Playground click here

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