Mom topics

Playground equipment made just for Mom

Feb. 28, 2013 at 1:17 PM ET

Adult playgrounds are coming! If your mind just went straight to "Fifty Shades of Grey," lift it out of the gutter and set it squarely on the teeter-totter. Adult-sized playground equipment has become standard throughout parts of Europe and China and once parent-friendly versions made their American debut in New York City last summer, adults across the country started asking for them in their own communities.

Grown-up playgrounds are supposed to help parents get in shape and set a better example for their children. But aren’t playground-age kids workout enough? Never underestimate the caloric burn of sprinting to protect adventurous tots from oncoming traffic, squatting to pick up every last Lego, and lunging to rescue the cat from too much toddler love.

Adult playgrounds are gaining in popularity, but what kind of equipment do moms really want?
Scott Ramsey /
Adult playgrounds are gaining in popularity, but what kind of equipment do moms really want?

While Mommy-sized teeter-totters may be a little more fun than the standard outdoor gyms already existing in many parks, moms do not need a reminder they once looked better in a bikini. Low-fat breakfast cereal makers have that message covered. Besides, when is Mom supposed to play, anyway? Certainly she won’t have the chance with kids around. Let’s forget the over-sized merry-go-round and give mommies the park toys they really want.

Exfoliating Slides
The Big Girl slide is a high-tech surface, just slippery enough to slide down, and gritty enough to slough off unwanted skin cells. We will also need a lotion station next to the hand sanitizer dispenser.

Massage Chairs
Nothing makes a weary mom squeal in delight like the magic of mechanical shiatsu. A line of massage chairs just outside the woodchip perimeter will make every mommy smile. Complimentary pedicure staff optional. What? We’d bring our own polish!

Push me, Push me!
The standard swing bank needs no alteration, but simply the addition of a crew of Ryan Gosling look-alikes. “Hey Girl, you don’t even need to pump your legs.”

Pretend Cars
Instead of a plain bench for moms to spend precious few resting moments, how about leather seats, pristine carpets, and crumb-free cup holders? They won’t get that anywhere else.

Soundproof Nap Rooms
Kids go to the playground to spend some energy. Moms don’t have energy to spare. Let’s facilitate a little recharge session by installing tiny soundproof rooms where moms catch a rest. Retrofitted tanning beds should do the trick.

And finally, obviously, forego the monkey bars in favor of actual bars. It’s five o’clock somewhere, and we’re walking home, anyway.

Would you play on adult-sized playground equipment, or is your real life merry-go-round enough?

Lela Davidson is the author ofBlacklisted from the PTA, and Who Peed on My Yoga Mat? Her thoughts on marriage, motherhood, and life-after-40 have appeared in hundreds of magazines, websites, and anthologies.