Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Playgrounds Once Were New: History of Toys (and Games)

Update (September 10, 2010)

This page on the website does not seem to be available any more. Too bad.

There's a pretty good look at one aspect of the history of playgrounds in America here:

"History of Playgrounds" / City of Charlottesville
History of Toys | "Timeline"

"...1800s Playgrounds begin to appear in American cities. The idea stemmed from the efforts of city reformers who were searching for more healthful play options for children in urban areas, where parks and yards were scarce. The playgrounds started off as 'sand gardens,' inspired by those seen by an American social worker while visiting Berlin. Financed by local businesses, city playgrounds soon included swings and see-saws...."

There's more, like: a line about a 6,000-year-old Babylonian board game; stone yo-yos; what Parcheesi was called; and the year when first box of Crayola crayons was produced.

It's a pretty good resource for not-very-practical information about the history of fun.

(I said 'not very practical' - not 'uninteresting' - there's a difference!)

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