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Playgrounds for senior citizens? Genius idea.

Senior citizens like to have fun, too.

Playgrounds for senior citizens? Genius idea.

Playgrounds can be a lot of fun.

Kids love them. Parents are into them because physical activity is good for kids. (And let's be honest: It's also because we know they'll sleep well later.)


Whoops.

But you know who else playgrounds are good for? Senior citizens!

Yep, that's right. Playground equipment isn't just for little ones.

Image by Public Radio International.

Seniors enjoy doing more than sitting idly, reading a book, and gazing at the young whippersnappers swinging, sliding, and generally having a good time. They like to play, too!

In Spain, where the population is aging, senior-citizen playgrounds have been popping up for a while.

Not only do they provide a place for folks to enjoy physical activity, they also offer an opportunity for socializing.

Public Radio International shared the video below about playgrounds for senior citizens.

"It is very social," says Paz Vidal, a physical therapist. "[We] want to break the myth of the old person coming to the park and just sitting while grandkids play. And then going home. Kids can also have fun here. The parks help create family cohesion. And it's intergenerational."

The playgrounds in Spain sure seem to be serving their purpose.

GIF by Public Radio International.

"I am not someone to stay home. I get out a lot," said Franchesca, an 84-year-old in Spain who, in addition to enjoying being active, hasn't lost her sense of humor. "Because if you stay home, you spend all your time criticizing your kids, eh?"

And it's not just happening in Spain. It's starting to catch on in the U.S., too!

Folks playing at a senior playground in London. More of these in the U.S., please! Photo by Oli Scarff/Staff/Getty Images.

The nonprofit KaBOOM!, which generally builds kids' playgrounds, partnered up with Humana to build intergenerational playgrounds around the United States. So far, they've built over 50. These playgrounds are created with people of all ages in mind.

"Play is a great connector for adults and seniors and the children in their lives. In addition to the cognitive and physical benefits of play, it can also reduce stress in adults and is proven to help combat toxic stress in kids," Sarah Pinsky, director of client services for KaBOOM!, told Huffington Post.

I mean, just watch these folks enjoying themselves. Who wouldn't want to have fun like that at any age?

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.