Fran Mainella earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut in 1969, and began to teach Physical Education classes for grades 6-12 in Rockville, Connecticut. After seven years of teaching, coaching, designing curriculum, and earning a Master’s degree from Central Connecticut State College, Fran entered the arena of recreation.1 She was first hired in 1977 as an Assistant Center Director of the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department in Florida. Though only there for a year, Fran worked with integrating and operating the community center programs for young children through senior citizens.
1. “Professional Experience.” Resume. Copy at Playground Professionals. 6 April 2011.
Many manufacturers of playground equipment supply the playground owner with a maintenance kit to help preserve the aesthetics, usefulness, and safety of the equipment. These maintenance kits range from a maintenance record-keeping document to extra tools and hardware (nuts and bolts).
A proper maintenance kit will include a playground equipment manual, which will have a top view and 3-D drawings of the playground. It will also include the individual components’ installation instructions, parts list, and parts numbers. This gives the owner the ability to order new parts for worn or damaged pieces of equipment.
Otto Tod Mallery, known as the “Father of Recreation in Philadelphia,” was an economist, “citizen volunteer,” and leader in the local, national, and international recreation movement of the early 20th century.1 Calling him “farseeing, statesmanlike, and devoted,”2 Howard S.
1. Hartsoe, Charlie E., M. Douglas Sanders, and Meredith Bridgers. Profiles in Leadership. Champaign, IL: Sagamore Publishing, LLC, 2009. pp. 78, 81.
2. “Otto Tod Mallery.” Recreation. January 1957. at Internet Archive. < http://www.archive.org/stream/recreation50natirich/recreation50natirich_djvu.txt > 14 Feb. 2013.
Marbles are small perfectly round objects that have been played with by children down through the ages. There is evidence of marble games being played by the ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Romans, and Greeks. Although some early games may have been played with stones and nuts, there have also been small clay balls found in many prehistoric ruins.1
Clare Cooper Marcus is an internationally recognized author and researcher on the psychological and sociological components of architecture, landscape design, and urban open space. From her studies she has promoted the design of environments for children, in particular by adding gardens and natural elements to outdoor spaces around schools, hospitals, day care centers, and public housing developments.
Stephen Tyng Mather was the founding Director of the National Park Service and an early supporter of state parks. It was said that he “sacrificed his money, his health, his time, his opportunities for wealth, in order that he might promote that which will mean so much to the people of this country in the future.”1
1. “Stephen Tyng Mather, Cornelius Amory Pugsley Gold Medal Award, 1928.” AAPRA. < http://www.aapra.org/Pugsley/MatherStephen.html > 20 Sep. 2012.
Ruth and Elliot Handler joined with Harold “Matt” Matson to form Mattel Creations in 1945. The Mattel name was a combination of Harold's nickname Matt and part of Elliot's name. However, very early on Matt's ill health necessitated that he sell out, which left Ruth and Elliot to design, manufacture, and market products for the new company.
Middleball is a new sport created by Scott Loetman in 2009. A relatively simple ball game to play, Middleball utilizes indoor courts, nets, and a beach ball to offer a fun activity for people of all ages and abilities.
Scott, who has worked with sports organizers to facilitate their leagues and tournaments for indoor court play, realized that the thousands of indoor racquetball, Wallyball, and squash courts are only used by a small percentage of the population – athletic men and women. These courts are expensive to maintain and are often underutilized during off hours causing many facilities to close their doors.
Milton Bradley, lithographer and inventor, formed the Milton Bradley Company in 1860 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Having the only lithograph machine in Massachusetts outside of Boston, Milton was busy with free lance orders but was looking for a more stable base for his business. After playing an old English board game, Milton designed an American version called The Checkered Game of Life, produced several hundred copies, and sold all of them in a few days in New York City. This sparked a fad and Milton sold 40,000 copies that first year and thereafter focused his business on games.
In 1997, Coach Eddie Bagwell of the Rockdale Youth Baseball Association (RYBA) Conyers, Georgia invited a 7 year old child confined to a wheelchair to participate in the game. Michael had attended every game and practice while cheering on his 5 year old brother. The next year, the RYBA gave other children with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball within their complex of typical baseball diamonds. Participants expressed a desire for uniforms, to make plays in the field, and to round the bases like other players. That year their league began with 35 players on 4 teams.
Since there were no established programs for offering baseball to children with disabilities, they decided on the following guidelines for the players and games:
Over 80 years ago, in 1927, John Ahrens formed Ahrens Manufacturing Company in Grinnell, Iowa. He had seen a perpetual motion machine at the Texas State Fair and with that inspiration designed a new merry-go-round called the Miracle Whirl. John was awarded a patent for his unique design which allowed just one person to make the merry-go-round move by shifting their weight across the surface.
After starting Ahrens Manufacturing Company with his son Don Ahrens, John produced thirty Miracle Whirls but didn't sell them. To help his father, Claude Ahrens took the time from selling hybrid corn seed to sell the Miracle Whirls to country schools. Due to the war needs for steel, the production of more Whirls was postponed.
The Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) is committed to the development of life skills in children through their involvement in the performing arts.1 Communication, self-discipline, and team work skills are fostered through MCT's local children's theatre, international traveling theatre, performing arts camps, and their Next Step Prep summer high school performance arts program.
Mobility is the state of being in motion. In children, mobility progresses from crawling as babies to a host of movements, such as walking, running, jumping, and climbing. It takes coordination to develop patterns of movement by integrating visual information with the movement of the limbs.1 The skeletal system, muscles, and the nervous system must collaborate to be able to make the smallest movement, and walking requires fifty-four muscles in the feet, legs, hips, and back working together to propel the walker forward.2
1. Frost, Joe L., Pei-San Brown, John A. Sutterby, Candra D. Thornton. The Developmental Benefits of Playgrounds. Olney, MD: Association for Childhood Education International, 2004. p. 130.
Mold can frequently be found on playgrounds with wood surfaces and in wood mulch. The mold that most commonly grows on wood playground surfaces is called a slime mold. This mold is irregular in shape and grows in various colors such as brown, yellow, pink, or white. Slime molds are a temporary nuisance and are generally confined to small areas.1 They do not pose health hazards to humans unless eaten, but they may appear unpleasant.2
1. “Slime Molds.” Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Westchester County, Fact Sheet.
2. “What is Growing in my Landscape Mulch?” Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension, 1997.
Dr. Maria Montessori was one of the most influential pioneers in education for children in the 20th century, and her methods have continued to be utilized in Montessori schools around the world. Her discoveries in working with children led to teaching methods that allow for child-directed learning with the teacher facilitating the environment to aid in the child’s interests with the message to “follow the child.”1
1. “An Inroduction to Montessori Philosophy & Practice.” The Michael Olaf Montessori Company. < http://www.michaelolaf.net/1CW312MI.html > 4 Aug. 2011.
Robin C. Moore earned his diploma in Architecture from the London University in 1962. For two years after that Robin worked on a research hospital design team for the architects Llewelyn-Davies, Weeks and Partners in London. In 1966, Robin moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to earn a master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was at MIT that Robin began his lifelong interest in combining environmental design, child development, and play spaces as evidenced by his master’s thesis, which was on the Lenox-Camden Playground. He directed community projects for Boston Redevelopment Authority concerning residential rehabilitation and the development of local open space.
Morgan's Wonderland is an all-inclusive, ultra accessible theme park for guests of all ages and of all physical and cognitive abilities. Located near San Antonio, Texas, it is a place of “smiles and laughter” where “the common element of play creates an atmosphere of inclusion for those with and without disabilities, encouraging and allowing everyone to gain a greater understanding of one another.”1
Motor skills refer to the development of motor control, precision, and accuracy in the performance of both fundamental and more complex movements.1 They involve the movement of the muscles in the body, which are divided into two groups: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills use the larger movements of the arms, legs, feet, or the entire body when performing activities, such as crawling, running, and jumping.
1. Gallahue, David L. and Frances Cleland Donnelly. Developmental Physical Education for All Children. 4th ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2003. pp. 14-15.
The Move Theory is a consulting and training company based on Dr. Kwame M. Brown's idea that exploring movement in a playful manner is the way to create “strong, healthy, happy young people.” He maintains that such exploration must also include “effort, consistency, interaction and cooperation with others and the development of internal belief...through infrastructure and gentle guidance.” According to Dr. Brown, supported playful movement is the way for optimal development of the youth, “so that they have the skills, health, and creativity to become who they choose to become.”1
1. Brown, Kwame M. “Move Theory has been launched!” Move Theory. < http://www.drkwamebrown.com/meet-dr-kwame-brown/ > 15 Aug. 2012.
As an elders’ play space design company, Must Have Play believes in providing safe, healthy playgrounds that the “Baby Boom” generation will want to visit for exercise, socializing, and play. They believe that elder play spaces can be “light-hearted and playful” as well as being “appealing, attractive, accessible, and safe places.”1
1. Cohen, Michael. “Playgrounds for Elders.” Must Have Play. Personal correspondence to Playground Professionals. 6 March 2013.