Evolution of American Playgrounds

Common usage claims broad application for the term playground including school playgrounds, park playgrounds, wilderness playgrounds, zoo playgrounds, arboretum playgrounds, camp playgrounds, casino playgrounds, dog playgrounds, cruise playgrounds, street playgrounds, rooftop playgrounds, loose parts playgrounds, check-a-child playgrounds, wilderness playgrounds, imagination playgrounds, accessible playgrounds, intergenerational playgrounds, natural playgrounds, etc. Even politicians play with the label. For example, “No Child Left Behind is a playground of Left Wing (or Right Wing) social engineering.” Playgrounds vary by location, play materials, functions, and purposes. In this review “playgrounds” refers to outdoor spaces with natural and/or built materials and equipment selected, set aside, created, or designed for children’s play. The primary focus will be the evolution of American playgrounds beginning in the 19th century, including influences of European innovations on the gestalt of modern American playgrounds.

Common usage claims broad application for the term playground including school playgrounds, park playgrounds, wilderness playgrounds, zoo playgrounds, arboretum playgrounds, camp playgrounds, casino playgrounds, dog playgrounds, cruise playgrounds, street playgrounds, rooftop playgrounds, loose parts playgrounds, check-a-child playgrounds, wilderness playgrounds, imagination playgrounds, accessible playgrounds, intergenerational playgrounds, natural playgrounds, etc. Even politicians play with the label. For example, “No Child Left Behind is a playground of Left Wing (or Right Wing) social engineering.” Playgrounds vary by location, play materials, functions, and purposes. In this review “playgrounds” refers to outdoor spaces with natural and/or built materials and equipment selected, set aside, created, or designed for children’s play. The primary focus will be the evolution of American playgrounds beginning in the 19th century, including influences of European innovations on the gestalt of modern American playgrounds.

Search