oz playground, outdoor play, eco play, playgrounds

Designed in part as a reaction to the high rates of childhood obesity in the surrounding areas as well as a cutback in physical education and recess times at school, the playground features 14,000 square feet of fun. Among the attractions are two side-by-side red slipper slides,┬áthe towers to the Emerald City (with plenty of climbing opportunities), Auntie Em’s house, and musical chimes.

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A welcoming plaque introduces park and playground-goers to the magic that they are about to experience. Of course, the entrance to the park wouldn’t be complete without a yellow brick road to follow and its arching rainbow above. The larger structures such as the emerald city and the hot air balloons create enticing areas to play and learn in: the hot air balloons actually feature an interactive word search. The smaller details are equally as cool and fun to discover: trees with faces, poppy flowers for kids to whisper into, and large, stylized boards of the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy, and the Scarecrow with face cut-outs give subtle and overt nods to the cinematic classic.

The Wizard of Oz playground is one of 26 “imagination” playgrounds. If the other 25 are anywhere as inspiring as this one, we think the children of Prince George County will agree that “There’s no place like home…or our local playgrounds!”

via WTOP