Tag Archives: see-saw

Cambridge Common Playground

Finally we got a chance today to go to the Cambridge Common Playground today. Everyone has been raving about this playground all summer. Parking has been known to be iffy, so we just haven’t ventured that deeply into Harvardland. Today Alex helped out the lovely people at the Laboratory for Developmental Studies (a.k.a. Baby Lab) at Harvard University. We spun around in a circular room with our eyes closed and had to find stickers, if you really must know. Actually, it was very cool research and a thoroughly pleasant experience. Check them out, and help out a scientist 😉

And the Cambridge Common Playground is close by,  just north of Harvard Square. I swear it took 30 minutes to drive the couple of hundred yards – boy is that area a warren of higher intellect and one-way streets. But we had no problem finding parking spots near the playground. There were plenty of two hour metered spots. Of course as your eco-friend (conscience) I recommend taking public transport…

The playground is awesome. Well designed, well made, and all understated and natural (ish). There are hills with slides and climbing options (nets, rock holds, tree branches, palisades), there are wooden playhouses, a very cool wooden sailboat, swings, a maze, picnic table and benches, shade, water features (sprinkler shower and a water race), a shaded platform with pulleys and shakers and a conveyor belt, a very nifty seesaw, a wheelchair drive-on round-a-bout, and lots and lots of large wooden blocks. The surface is mostly sand and wood chips.

Alex made a friend and together they monopolized the conveyor belt for a good half hour, moving wood onto the platform. Then they built a bridge for their cars and trains and played with that for about a microsecond. Alex then unexpectedly got all adventurous and tried out all the different climbing options (“ALL BY MYSELF” as he said when celebrating another successful ascent).

Jen freaked me out. She wanted to try out everything – gulp. She crawled up steps and hills and through tunnels and tried out the pulleys and shakers. I’m on a learning curve with her – Alex has been cautious and timid until a couple of weeks ago, so I never got all those heart-stopping moments I seem to be heading for with Jen.

Anyhow, here are my pictures. The official playground webpage has lots of good ones too…

Lake Quannapowitt Toddler Playground

I am so pleased they refurbished Col. Connelly Playground at the North end of Lake Quannapowitt. It always struck me as strange to have a toddler playground without infant swings. But now it is all new and shiny and a great place to stop either on that jog around the lake, or when you’re buying your gourmet muffins at The Gingerbread Construction Company. mmmmm – muffins.

Anyway, I was saying… This playground is still fully fenced but now has a new structure, new swings, new picnic benches, new wood chips, and the ride-on toys have been anchored again. There are excellent little nooks to hide and a faux-rock to climb on. We tested out all the bells (no whistles) and dipped our toes into Lake Q. The playground itself is in full sun, but there are grass and trees outside the fence to sit under.

We were infinitely grateful that the drinking fountain was on. It was tremendously hot today so we only lasted maybe twenty minutes. Then we went and hid in the air conditioning of the Stoneham Public Library and got out more truck/car/train books for Alex.