Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published August 28th 2013
A Park for Children of All Ages
The swings don't just attract the kids.
Since its refurbishment a year or so ago, the Rock Terrace Recreation Ground in Mitcham has transformed from a fairly standard kiddy playground into funky modern play area for both teens and tots.
Humour is often a better deterrent than being told 'no'.
The park is snuggled between a quiet road, a pleasant cul-de-sac of houses, South Mitcham Community Centre, and the Frensham Court Council Estate. With a park right on their doorstep, it is the place where all the local kids hang out after school or spend their time during the summer holidays.
You immediately recognise that this is an urban, multi-cultural area that welcomes diversity and community spirit. Merton occasional holds Family Fridays, where you can take part in activities such as parkour (free running), BMX riding, and graffiti art. The next Family Friday is on the 30th August.
Try climbing while spinning round.
Rock Terrace Recreation Ground is divided into two areas; one for children and one for teenagers. The children's are has several different types of round-a-bouts, including one with spiderweb rungs, and another slanted at an angle, which makes for a rather disorienting ride (yes, I admit, I have been on it).
There are also lots of climbing frames to mess around on. One is a fairly traditional frame with bridges and a slide, while those a few years older might enjoy the two more spacey looking structures with wacky shapes and monkey bars.
There are four sets of swings, two on either end of the playground. On on side, you have toddler framed seats, and heavy rubber loungers that teens just like to loll on while having an ice cream. On the other side there is a swing specifically for babies, that looks like a baby car seat, as well as a big communal 'hammock' swing that everyone can just pile on.
There are also puzzles and games that children can enjoy; rather than hopscotch, there is a snakes & ladders board painted on the tarmac. You are your own playing piece, and there is a numbered spinner planted in the ground to take the place of a die.
At the other end of the recreation ground is the teen area; this has is more sporty facilities such as a rock climbing wall and a half pipe, which is used by bikers, skateboarders, pre-teens with scooters, and those who just like to run up really steep stuff.
This court can be used for both football and basketball
There is also a multi-purpose football-come-basketball court that is very popular. When I was a teenager, I used to play Round the World and HORSE with my dad here.
If you want to play basketball, but the court is already occupied, there are five other hoops that you can practice your dunking on, even if it means you cannot play a full game.
Who needs the gym when you have the playground?
Looking for a workout? No problem, they also have an amateur version of a cross trainer. It's not particularly sophisticated, but since it is so stiff, you might find yourself burning more energy just to get it moving.