My shovel, your bucket, our excavator? Apparently, Unterhachinger parents have not been asking these questions for several years. On more and more playgrounds, these things are simply left there – free for everyone to use. While elsewhere the acquis is maintained with name inscriptions, Unterhachinger children share their sand toys and vehicles with others. Once the children have outgrown the sandpit age, the next generation can use it to bake sand cakes and dig tunnels.
In some cases, however, so many toys have accumulated that the municipality, despite all the sustainability behind the shovel sharing, is now asking parents and children to take the things home with signs at the playgrounds. She gives her last chance to do so on February 28th. Otherwise the depot will remove the toys. A letter from the town hall states: “Our public playgrounds are subject to regulations and standards and the duty of supervision of the municipal administration. We take this responsibility very seriously and hope for your understanding and your help.”
However, very few understand this. The parents are outraged, and they vent their anger at this announcement on social media. One would only have to set up a box in which the toys can be put away after use, according to the suggestion of some parents. City hall spokesman Simon Hötzl takes a deep breath on the subject of “toys left behind on municipal playgrounds”. As a father, he knows that you’re happy about the offer if you haven’t taken a bucket or shovel with you from home. And the attractive vehicles! “Children mostly like to play with other people’s toys,” he admits. As a representative of the municipal administration, however, he says: “We have a real problem.”
The municipality has the road safety for the playgrounds. At the same time, the sand play areas also provide fall protection for the large playground equipment set up by the municipality. “And he should stay free.” So if a child falls on a sand toy of all places instead of the soft sand, the church could be held responsible. It has already happened that the community has received letters, according to Hötzl, with the demand: “My child injured himself on the playground, please pay the treatment costs.” Surely no one says anything if a shovel gets left behind, but the amount of toys has reached enormous proportions, especially in the smaller squares such as Tegernseer Landstraße, Anton-Schrobenhauser-Weg or Lilienthalstraße. Children’s toy vehicles that are much too large for the space would also be parked there.
According to Hötzl, the municipality now wants to examine the proposal with the box. They are also considering working with volunteer godparents who regularly check things so that no child is injured by broken toys. When the construction depot then moves out next Tuesday to collect the things, “of course nothing will be thrown away, we’ll find another use, for example in our facilities,” says Hötzl.