Playgrounds today are nothing like the ones that earlier generations grew up with. Some of the equipment was less than safe, and forget about soft, rubber surfaces that help kids from breaking their necks.
No safety straps. No warning signs. Just some good ole fashioned rusted metal fun where kids could run amok with reckless abandon!
One of those beloved parks is still standing at Bader Park Campground near Chapman, Nebraska, and once footage of kids having the time of their life there went viral, the internet, particularly Gen X, went wild with nostalgia.
First, kids are swinging on a contraption that has a giant, questionable clown face that also happens to spin. Seems safe! Don’t lose a finger!
Kids are also lining up for their turn down a giant metal slide held down a single cinder block while others ride on a rusted four-seater seesaw that spins.
The video also features vintage rocking horse swings and the classic merry-go-round which you can’t really find anywhere on a playground these days. At least, not in this form.
Most have been ripped out in favor of safer alternatives. Plus, there have been several lawsuits centered about the danger of this once-cherished park favorite.
After the video caught fire, Gen X TikTok users chimed in on how great it was to see one of these playgrounds still standing, reminiscing about the days of playing on similar equipment.
“The lunch ladies at my elementary school would give us waxed paper so we would slide faster down the slide,” one user recalled.
Another said, “I want to get a gang of Gen Xers out there to restore it with a good cleaning and fresh paint to keep it alive as long as possible!”
One user joked, “Metal slides on a hot summer day... getting blinded and burnt at the same time.”
In true dangerous playground fashion, one user remembered, “Broke my leg on the spinning thing and got stitches in my chin from the teeter totter.”
“Kids really need to experience a merry go round and the joys of hanging on tight or losing your life😅,” another joked.
Now just throw in some kids running around with crimped hair, Walkmans playing Pearl Jam or Paula Abdul, and some scrunchies on wrists and you have a true Gen X playground.