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Article summary:

1. Germany is building risk into its playgrounds to teach children how to navigate difficult situations and develop "risk competence".

2. The trend has accelerated in Germany over the last five years, with a growing number of educators, manufacturers and town planners advocating for challenging microcosms instead of absolute safety.

3. Playground equipment in Germany is certified by the TÜV, which enables a risk-accepting culture while still ensuring safety standards are met.

Article analysis:

The Guardian article titled "Learning the ropes: why Germany is building risk into its playgrounds" discusses the trend of creating challenging and risky playgrounds in Germany. The article highlights that educators, manufacturers, and town planners argue that playgrounds should not strive for absolute safety but instead create microcosms that teach children to navigate difficult situations even if it means the occasional broken bone.

The article provides evidence to support this argument, citing an influential 2004 study that found children who improved their motor skills in playgrounds at an early age were less likely to suffer accidents as they got older. The umbrella association of statutory accident insurers in Germany also called for more playgrounds that teach children to develop "risk competence."

However, the article does not explore counterarguments or potential risks associated with these risky playgrounds. While insurance companies may agree with this approach, some parents may be hesitant to allow their children to play on structures that appear dangerous. Additionally, there is no mention of any potential injuries or accidents resulting from these types of playgrounds.

Furthermore, the article seems biased towards promoting these risky playgrounds without presenting both sides equally. The author cites several German manufacturers who are designing and exporting these types of structures worldwide but does not provide any opposing viewpoints or perspectives.

The article also fails to address the potential socioeconomic factors involved in this trend. It is unclear whether these risky playgrounds are accessible to all children regardless of their socioeconomic status or if they are only available in affluent areas.

Overall, while the article presents an interesting perspective on the benefits of risky play for children's development, it lacks a balanced discussion of potential risks and counterarguments.