Pat Rumbaugh, a physical education teacher and tennis coach, wanted to promote play in her community of Takoma Park, Maryland, located in the Washington, D.C. area. After contacting KaBOOM! for information, she invited a group of people to form a committee to promote indoor and outdoor play for all ages.1 TakomaPlays! was officially formed in 2009 and has an active committee of students, parents, seniors, and members of the city’s government.
1. “About Us.” TakomaPlays. < http://takomaplays.org/ > 10 July 2011.
The Teacher Tom blog is authored by Tom Hobson, the sole teacher at the Woodland Park Cooperative Preschool in Seattle, Washington. Writing a personal blog that is separate from but inspired by his daily activities at the preschool, Tom writes about “teaching and learning from preschoolers.”1
Team sports are organized games governed by a set of rules that are recognized and interpreted by an official governing body as the standard for play.1 The top team sports for children ages 6 through 17 are basketball, baseball, soccer, football, and volleyball. About 20 million American children play organized out-of-school sports with about 25 million playing competitive school sports.2
1. Gallahue, David L. and Frances Cleland Donnelly. Developmental Physical Education for All Children. 4th ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2003. p. 366.
2. Engle, Marianne. “Sports and Kids: Pathway to Healthy Development or to Unhealthy Competition?” Education.com. < http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Sports_Kids_Pathway/ > 29 Oct.
Tetherball is a game that has been popular on playgrounds, schoolyards, and summer camps for years. The game involves two players who attempt to hit a ball attached to a pole by a rope in opposite directions until one of them wraps the rope completely around the pole and the ball stops. Tetherball can be enjoyed by school-aged children and adults alike with varying levels of fitness and very little expense.1
The Association for the Study of Play (TASP) is a professional organization whose purpose is threefold: to promote the study of play, to support and cooperate with other similar organizations, and to organize meetings and publications in order to disseminate information related to play.1 Their multi-disciplinary focus includes such fields as biology, anthropology, cultural studies, ecology, education, folklore, history, kinesiology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, recreation, and the arts.
1. “TASP Membership Forms & Dues.” TASP, The Association for the Study of Play. < http://www.tasplay.org/membership.html > 1 June 2011.
The Chimes Company offers indoor and outdoor recreational musical instruments and sensory equipment for inclusion in playgrounds, schools, nature and botanical parks, and rehabilitation and therapy facilities as well as zoos and family entertainment centers. Their note accurate instruments extend the benefits of musical play and music therapy to persons of all ages and abilities.
Dr. Clark W. Hetherington, a pioneer in the playground movement in America, wrote The Demonstration Play School of 1913 to report the purpose of, execution of, and success of the Summer Play School he established on the University of California Berkley campus. The experimental summer school was a combination of “the joyousness and dynamic power of play and the social purpose of education.”1
1. Butler, George D. Pioneers in Public Recreation. Minneapolis, MN: Burgess Publishing Company. 1965. p. 21.
With multiple audiences in mind, The Developmental Benefits of Playgrounds, coauthored by Joe L. Frost, Pei-San Brown, John A. Sutterby, and Candra D. Thornton, reviews selected research by doctoral students and faculty at the University of Texas during a 35 year running research program at Redeemer School in Austin, Texas. This is the third book linked to this program published by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) concerning children's play and playgrounds. These began with When Children Play in 1985, continued with Playground Injuries and Litigation in 1996, and culminated with this volume in 2004.1
1. Frost, Joe L., Pei-San Brown, John A. Sutterby, and Candra D. Thornton. Introduction.
The Grass Stain Guru is a blog about “restoring childhood, and saving ourselves in the process.” The blog, written by Bethe Almeras, covers topics on unstructured play, children and nature, and education reform in an intimate, conversational tone that encourages her readers to interact and share their experiences.1
1. Chen, Gina. “The Grass Stain Guru writes about children and play.” Family Life Blog. 29 May 2009. Syracuse.com. < http://blog.syracuse.com/family/2009/05/who_are_you_and_where_3.html > 17 May 2012.
Published in 2011 by Algonquin Books,The Nature Principle, Richard Louv's follow up book to Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, expands the focus beyond children to our society's needs for nature. He maintains that “reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival.”1 Richard sees seven integrated concepts of nature's “restorative and productive powers:”2
1. Louv, Richard. The Nature Principle. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2011. p. 3.
In 2009, Curtis Stoddard developed the concept the business plan for a play and playground encyclopedia. Curtis had been participating in many aspects of the playground industry and had amassed thousands of books, articles, and other information about play and playgrounds. The encyclopedia idea appealed to Curtis as he had a high regard for history, and an encyclopedia would be a wonderful way to record play and playground history.
Dr. Henry S. Curtis, a leader in the American play movement, wrote The Play Movement and Its Significance (1917) to provide “a concrete picture of the extent of the development of play in this country, the sources from which the movement has sprung, and the direction in which it is going.”1 At a time when the daily realities of the industrial revolution were evident, he believed that recreation for adults and organized play for children “can do more to correct the evils of institutional life than any other single agency.”2
1. Curtis, Henry S. The Play Movement and Its Significance (1917). New York: The MacMillian Company, 1917. p. v.
Professional playworker Penny Wilson has communicated the essence of the British playwork movement through The Playwork Primer, a 40 page booklet published by the Alliance for Childhood in 2010. Through a clear overview, a concise history, and definitions of terms she has endeavored to introduce playwork and the adventure playground concepts to the American play industry.
David Elkind, the author of The Hurried Child and Ties That Stress, has added a third book, The Power of Play, that encapsulates his belief that “a happy and productive life” must include playing, loving, and working.1 He believes they are the “three inborn drives that power human thought and action”2 While philosophers and researchers have championed play, David maintains they have done it at the exclusion of work, love, and child development factors. Meanwhile, educators have discussed development solely in terms of physical, emotional-social, and intellectual concepts.
1. Elkind, David. The Power of Play. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2007. pp. xi, 3.
The Step2® Company is a manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys, garden and outdoor furniture products, and rotationally molded plastics. As part of The Step2 Holding Company, LLC, their mission is to create products that “build imagination and enrich the family's celebration of childhood.”1 The company's name expresses their motto to go a step beyond what has been done before and their belief that “almost anything can be done better the second time around.”2
After a lifetime of collecting dolls and toys, in 1968 Margaret Woodbury Strong created the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum of Fascination in her home in Rochester, New York. For more than a decade Margaret had been conducting official and unofficial tours of her collections, so she named the official museum after the way her guests would often describe her collections.1 She hoped her museum would “fascinate, educate, and entertain.”2
Theme play is a form of symbolic play. Using a particular theme, children pretend to take on roles of others they have observed from earlier situations, imitating their actions and speech. The theme might be a doctor’s office where the children imitate the roles of the doctor and the nurse. Children like to play school, pretend they work in a store, and imagine they are cowboys.
Themed Recreation Company creates themed playgrounds, stand-alone play and climbing structures, icon play and brand sculptures, and spray or misting play pieces. Their material of choice to use in the fabrication process is GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete). With their sister company, the Chimes Company, they can integrate sensory equipment and musical instruments into their designs.
Theora Design is a business that creates and designs toys, games, crafts, dolls, electronic games, and novelties. They also collaborate with other toy and game inventors and encourage young entrepreneur designers. While others fear the electronic age has ended games, Theora Design believes that games are “enjoying a renaissance” as “people seek avenues for interacting with each other.”1
1. Lehman-Wilzig, Tami. “Always Game for Something New.” Israel AL Magazine. 1994, pp. 25-28. < http://theoradesign.com/blog/publications/el-al-magazine-7-aug-1994.html > 23 Aug. 2012.
Play can be very therapeutic for children. Play is a way of removing stress and having fun. Play implies freedom, safety, trust, and a sense of well-being. Adding play to children’s lives leads to less depression, less anxiety, less stress, and less aggression. Play is fundamentally important for the emotional health of children and is a way for them to express emotion that cannot be said with words. Children who have been play-deprived or have experienced trauma or abuse will experience more fear, more pent up emotions, and more intense conflicts with others.1
1. “Therapeutic Value of Play.” Abuse Consultants. < http://www.abuseconsultants.com/rdirctrl/index.asp?PageDirect=PlayValue > 1 Nov. 2010.
Donna Thompson, a physical education professional, founded the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) in 1995. With a grant from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Donna established the NPPS S.A.F.E. Program for playground safety: Supervision, Age appropriate design, Fall surfacing, and Equipment maintenance. As executive director, she continues their mission “to help the public plan, maintain, and renovate SAFE outdoor play environments for children.”1
The Time to Play magazine is an e-magazine resource of the latest toys and games, children's books, electronic games, family movies, sporting goods, and “all things play.”1 Before writing independent reviews, compiling “top” lists, and filming weekly spotlight videos, they investigate and play with all the newest products. Their motto is: “We play hard, so you can play better.”2
1. “The Time to Play Holiday 2012 'Most Wanted' Revealed, Jim and Chris Bryne Announce the Top Toys Kids Will Be Asking for This Holiday Season.” BusinessWire. < http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120928005889/en/Time-Play-Holiday-2012-'Most-Wanted'-Revealed > 7 Feb. 2013.
2. “About Us.” Time to Play. < http://www.timetoplaymag.com/about/ > 6 Feb.
Tonka Corporation began in 1947 as Mound Metalcraft Incorporated. Founded in Mound, Minnesota by Lynn E. Baker, Avery Crounse, and Alvin Tesch, they first manufactured hat, tie, and shoe racks as well as gardening tools.1 That first year, Edward C. Streater of Streater Industries, Inc. approached the partners about manufacturing steel toys. Mound Metalcraft subsequently bought the tooling of the Streater designs. Alvin refined their designs, and they began manufacturing the #100 Steam Shovel and the #150 Crane and Clam from leftover materials.2
1. “Tonka History.” ChooChooParts. < http://www.choochooparts.com/eBayStore/Images/Collectibles/tonka%20history.pdf > 23 March 2011.
The Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) is a private, not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City, New York. It was founded April 21, 1916 as the Toy Manufacturers of America, Inc. The Toy Industry Association represents more than 535 manufacturers and importers who account for 85% of the toys distributed in North America. In 2010, retail sales of toys in the United States were $21.87 billion.1
1. “About TIA.” Toy Industry Association, Inc. < http://www.toyassociation.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=About_TIA&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=3&ContentID=2546 > 17 Feb. 2011.
Charles Lazarus, the founder of Toys “R” Us, began selling baby furniture in 1948 in Washington D.C. Aiming for the post World War II baby boom market, Charles soon added rattles, cradle gyms, stuffed animals, tricycles, books, and toys. He called the store the Children's Bargain Town.1 Charles' next store, which pioneered the supermarket floor plan, was called the Baby Furniture and Toy Supermarket. However, in 1957, when he opened a store in Rockville, Maryland, that longer name wouldn't fit the sign. Thus the current name, Toys “R” Us - with the backwards “R” - was born.2
1. “The Beginning.” ToysRus. < http://www.toysrusinc.com/about-us/history/ > 22 May 2011.
Children naturally love to climb trees. If they find a tree with numerous branches that is accessible to climb, they will start their ascent to explore the heights above. Some children find the shelter of a tree makes a great place to hide out and be alone.1
1. “FAQs for Kids.” Tree Climbers International. < http://www.treeclimbing.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=280:faqs-for-kids&catid=72&Itemid=148 > 26 Oct. 2010.
The Triax 2000 Surface Impact Tester (SIT) is a portable, free-fall playground surface impact tester. Children falling from playground equipment account for 79% of all playground equipment related injuries each year.1 The two factors that decide the severity of playground falls are the fall height and the type of surface in the play space. The Triax 2000 is used to assess the safety of the surfacing below the playground equipment based on the height of the equipment.
1. Skulski, Jennifer K., CPSI. “City of Detroit Sets Strict Specs to Ensure New Playground Surfaces are Safe and Accessible.” National Center on Accessibility. < http://www.ncaonline.org/making-the-grade/detroit.shtml > 28 Nov. 2011.
TÜV SÜD America is a technical inspection company that provides third-party safety testing, inspection, and certification services. In 2010, TÜV SÜD America began to administer the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) third-party certification for U.S. and Canadian play equipment and U.S. public play surfacing materials when they bought the certification test activities from Detroit Testing Laboratory, Inc.1
1. “Detroit Testing Laboratory, Inc. Sells Certification Testing Activity.” Detroit Testing Laboratory, Inc. < http://www.dtl-inc.com/pdfs/press/detroit_testing_laboratory_inc_certification_sale.pdf > 15 Sep. 2011.
Tyco Toys began in 1926 in Mantua, New Jersey, when two friends, James P. Thomas and John N. Tyler, formed the Mantua Toy Co. to manufacture wood and metal model sailboats. Their first product, a 3 foot cabin cruiser featuring a small electric motor, was offered in 1927. Since finding a quality small motor was difficult, John, an electrician, designed their own 6 volt motor.1
This Number 100 motor and the model boat were the inaugural products of the Triple-T Electrical Toys line. The Triple-T stood for Thomas, Tyler, and Tyler, with the additional Tyler being John's wife and James' sister, who was actively involved as well.
1. “Mantua Metal Products History.” RailStop.com. < http://www.railstop.com/History/Mantua/MantuaHistory.asp > 6 June 2011.