Playground Movement, U.S.
Deborah S. Valentine
Playgrounds are a common feature in most U.S. cities and towns in the 21st century, however, prior to the 1890s, this was not the case. The fact that playgrounds are so common today is just one of the lasting effects of the Playground Movement in the United States. One of several “child-saving” reform efforts of this time, the Playground Movement gained its name because of its initial focus on providing designated play spaces, play equipment, and professionally supervised play activities for children living in crowded urban areas. However, the movement was only briefly, if ever, singularly focused on playgrounds. Efforts of the movement's leaders soon expanded to include recreational activities for adults, a significant focus on organized sports for adolescent boys and a variety of educational programs to include nursery schools and kindergartens, founded primarily on the progressive educational philosophy of John Dewey and the work of child psychologist G. ...