The child who insists on running up the slide at the playground is doing it for a good reason.
Chances are he's uninspired and trying to create more of a challenge for himself. And if the child is 9 or 10 years old, he is likely fully bored by the swings, slides and climbing gear.
Some child-development experts and parents say decades of dumbed-down playgrounds, fueled by fears of litigation, concerns about injury and worrywart helicopter parents, have led to cookie-cutter equipment that offers little thrill. The result, they say, is that children are less compelled to play outside, potentially stunting emotional and physical development and exacerbating a nationwide epidemic of childhood obesity.