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A History of Children's Play and Play Environments: Toward a Contemporary Child-Saving Movement [NOOK Book]

Overview

Children’s play throughout history has been free, spontaneous, and intertwined with work, set in the playgrounds of the fields, streams, and barnyards. Children in cities enjoyed similar forms of play but their playgrounds were the vacant lands and parks. Today, children have become increasingly inactive, abandoning traditional outdoor play for sedentary, indoor cyber play and poor diets. The consequences of play deprivation, the elimination and diminution of recess, and the abandonment of outdoor play are ...

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A History of Children's Play and Play Environments: Toward a Contemporary Child-Saving Movement

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Overview

Children’s play throughout history has been free, spontaneous, and intertwined with work, set in the playgrounds of the fields, streams, and barnyards. Children in cities enjoyed similar forms of play but their playgrounds were the vacant lands and parks. Today, children have become increasingly inactive, abandoning traditional outdoor play for sedentary, indoor cyber play and poor diets. The consequences of play deprivation, the elimination and diminution of recess, and the abandonment of outdoor play are fundamental issues in a growing crisis that threatens the health, development, and welfare of children.


This valuable book traces the history of children’s play and play environments from their roots in ancient Greece and Rome to the present time in the high stakes testing environment. Through this exploration, scholar Dr. Joe Frost shows how this history informs where we are today and why we need to re-establish play as a priority. Ultimately, the author proposes active solutions to play deprivation. This book is a must-read for scholars, researchers, and students in the fields of early childhood education and child development.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is highly readable for the general public, and invaluable for education professionals...I can think of few books of more value for parents and educators to read than this one. It is must reading for all persons interested in the welfare and education of children."—Childhood Education

"As a hybrid of scholarship and advocacy, as a general survey of play movements and play environments, and as a passionate manifesto for reviving the role of play policy for the next century, A History of Children’s Play and Play Environments constructs a social history of play in America that is determined to prove the beneficial role of play and the pathological consequences of "play deprivation."—American Journal of Play

"Dr. Joe Frost's extensive background as a scholar and researcher of play is evident in his book."—Teachers College Record

"This comprehensive examination of play philosophy, trends, cultural differences, policies, and practices through history is a 'must read' for play scholars, researchers, and play advocates. Well-referenced for the play scholar but very readable for the lay person, this book traces the roots of contemporary challenges and documents the need for a 'child saving movement' to restore children’s opportunities for play. Informative and compelling!" —Olga Jarrett, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Georgia State University and President, American Association for the Child's Right to Play (IPA/USA)

"Joe Frost, an esteemed pioneer in his field, has produced a must read for everyone concerned about the health and well-being of children. A History of Children's Play and Play Environments is a wake up call to the essential need to bring back unstructured play and the dire consequences for an increasingly sedentary society."— Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781135251666
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/7/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Joe L. Frost is the Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus, University of Texas.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xiii

Foreword Stuart L. Brown xv

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1

1 Early Historical Views on Children's Play 9

Children's Play in Ancient Greece and Rome 9

The Play of Medieval Children 13

Irrational Play, Child Abuse, and Accidents in Medieval Times 17

Reformation and Renaissance Philosophers/Educators on Play 19

Pre-modern Philosophers on Play 22

Friedrich Froebel: The Architect of the Kindergarten or "Garden for Children" 26

Linking the Contributions of Early Scholars 31

2 Play and Play Environments in Early America 34

Play and Play Environments of Native American and Early Settlers' Children 35

The Changing Picture of Early Colonists' Play 38

Girls at Play in Nineteenth Century New England 39

Boys at Play in Nineteenth Century New England 42

Playing in the Country: Hunting, Fishing, War, and Recess 44

The Western Frontier: Work, Play, Muddy Roads, and Wilderness 47

The Play of Slave Children: "Play Is Fun, Work Is Hard" 54

Culture, Circumstance, and Play 60

3 The Early Child-Saving Movement: Shame of the Cities 62

Victims of a Stolen Childhood 63

Irrational Play: Begging, Picking Pockets, and Outwitting the Police 66

Settlement Houses and Playgrounds for the Poor 69

Orphan Trains, Farms, Coal Mines, and Factories 73

Enduring Elements of the Child-Saving Movement 75

Setting the Stage for a Twenty-First Century Child-Saving Movement 82

4 The Evolution of the Play and Playground Movement 84

Early New York: "City Where Crime Is Play" 85

The Many Faces of the Play and Playground Movement 89

Stages of Play Environment Development 98

The NewPsychology and the Institutionalization of Play and Playgrounds 100

The Playground Association of America (PAA) 103

The Normal Course in Play 105

Successes and Limitations of the Play and Playground Movement 108

5 Play and the Child Study Movement: Nursery Schools, Kindergartens, and the Developmental Approach to Play 111

Play and Child Development in Kindergartens 112

The Child Study Movement and the New Psychology 117

Applying the New Psychology to Education 119

Play and the "Whole Child" 122

Child Development Becomes a Scientific Discipline 126

The Emergence of Professional Organizations Advocating Play 132

Decades of Promise and Gathering Storms 136

6 Play during Hard Times: The Great Depression 138

Bursting the Economic Bubble and the Dreams of Americans 139

Pleasant and Not-So-Pleasant Memories 143

Stories from Children of the Depression 152

Double Trouble: The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl 157

Play and Play Environments of City Children during the Depression 163

The Awakening 170

7 Natural, Built, and Adventure Play Environments: Back to Nature 173

Natural Play Environments: Wilderness, Vacant Lots, Habitats, and Gardens 174

Manufactured Apparatus Playgrounds: Steel and Stone 177

The Novelty Era: Dennis the Menace 180

Adventure Playgrounds: Tools, Pets, Junk, Loose Parts, and Gardens 183

The Modern Era: Standardized Playgrounds 190

The Postmodern Era of Play Environments: Back to Nature 193

8 The Value of Play and the Consequences of Play Deprivation 198

The Rush to Distinction and Mediocrity 199

Developmental and Therapeutic Values of Play 202

Play, Brain, and Play Deprivation 204

Obesity, Illness, and Dying Young 209

The Causes of Play Deprivation: A Perfect Storm 214

Out-of Control Cyber Play 214

The Perpetual Evolution of Safety Standards 220

A Litigious Society 223

Under-parenting and Over-parenting: Baby Boomers to Generation XXL 228

No Child Left Behind: A Flawed Political Mandate 230

Needed: A Twenty-First Century Child-Saving Movement 235

9 Toward a Contemporary Child-Saving Movement 237

Lessons from the Past 238

The Postmodern Era in Children's Play and Play Environments 240

Building on the Early Child-Saving Movement 240

The Play and Playground Movement 241

The School Gardens Movement 242

Children's Zoo Movement 244

The Nature Study Movement 245

The Organized Camping Movement 245

The Children's Museum Movement 246

Building Ecosystems for Play 248

Child Development Centers and Learning and Development through Play 249

Expanding the Voice of Play and Play Environments 249

Nonprofit Organizations and Coalitions 251

Private Foundations 252

Enter the Government 253

Confronting the Play/Fitness/Health Crisis and Restoring Outdoor Play 256

Convincing Adults that Children Need Play at Home and Recess at School 256

Countering Pills and Disabilities 257

Turning off the Tech Toys 258

Getting Children back to Nature 260

Equity for Children in Poverty 262

From Junk Food to Basic Nutrition 264

Getting Parents Active and Emotional: Countering Fear 266

Remembering Lessons from History 269

References 271

Index 283

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