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theschoolboards
08-11-2011, 08:08 AM
From DNAinfo.com (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110811/harlem/nanny-kids-tour-207-manhattan-playgrounds) by Jeff Mays:
The first thing Lexi Lee did when she entered the playground at 152nd and Bradhurst Avenue was run to the water fountain.

"Okay, it works," the almost 7-year-old yelled to her sister Annie, 4 and their nanny Sarah Swymer, 25.

And then Annie ran to the swings to see if she could climb aboard on her own. She couldn't.

Swymer and her young charges examined the park's features with the efficiency of a city health inspector. Bathroom? Check. Shade trees? Check. Before long, both girls were hanging upside down by their knees and Swymer was grateful that she made them wear skorts — a hybrid of shorts and a skirt.

This was the 100th playground they had visited in Manhattan this summer and they are only halfway through their goal of visiting all 207 in the borough. Before year's end the girls plan to examine every playground on the island — one swing and slide at a time— and blog about it at NYC Park Hopper (http://nycparkhopper.blogspot.com/).

"Since it's my last summer with the girls we wanted to do something extra special," said Swymer, who will begin scaling back her nanny job to launch Sarah Poppins (http://sarahpoppins.blogspot.com/), a new company that will take kids on tours of New York City.

"We came up with the idea of trying to go to all the playgrounds. And since we are going, why not share our experiences? It's very valuable information," she added.

"I envision this as a resource for anyone going to a playground," said Swymer.

On NYC Park Hopper, the parks are rated on a scale of 5 slides.

They look for qualities like plentiful water fountains and shade — which are all important if kids are going to be playing outside for hours at a time. And if there aren't enough benches for the girls to store their backpacks while they play, that's also a problem. Dirty sandboxes are simply a no-no.

read more>> (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110811/harlem/nanny-kids-tour-207-manhattan-playgrounds)