The beginnings of the Waldorf early childhood movement stemmed from the desire to change the educational methods used in Germany following World War I. A group of workers at the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Factory in Stuttgart wanted a better method of teaching for their children than the harsh methods of Prussian pedagogy that had been used. They asked Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist and philosopher, to design a teaching method where teachers would teach out of love and respect for their students.1
1. Schwartz, Eugene. “Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education: The Kindergarten Years.” knol. < http://knol.google.com/k/anthroposophy-and-waldorf-education-the-kindergarten-years > 13 April 2011.
Fran Wallach (Frances) began her landmark career in the recreation industry as a volunteer in the Oceanside New York School District Recreation Department. Married to Attorney Gil Wallach and the mother of three young children, she moved on from her volunteer work and began working with the Nassau County (NY) Parks and Recreation Department as the Superintendent for Program Development. She already had a Bachelor's Degree in Drama from Brooklyn College, to which she added a Master’s Degree in Recreation Administration and then a Doctorate degree in Applied Human Development, Leisure Education and Gerontology, both from Columbia University.
Water is one of the earliest play materials, readily accessible in most areas of the world in the ocean, lakes, rivers, creeks and ponds. Water holds an endless fascination to children who seldom miss opportunities to play in it.
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition)® is a national education program for parents, caregivers, and communities that assists children 8 to 13 years of age to obtain and maintain a healthy weight. Through national news and events, partnerships with corporations and organizations, and community action, We Can! is dedicated to helping families “eat right, get active, and reduce screen time.”1
1. “About We Can!” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. < http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/about-wecan/index.htm > 8 Feb. 2012.
Lebert Howard Weir was a recreation and park leader, speaker, consultant, and researcher of the early 20th century. He was one of the first field secretaries to be employed by the Playground Association of America, later known as the National Recreation Association. In the course of his travels, speeches, and consultations, Weir taught, “How shall we play? Let it be with freedom, with as little regimentation as possible. Let it be expressive of fundamental, natural urges, desires, and interests of human life.”1
1. Hartsoe, Charlie E., M. Douglas Sanders, and Meredith Bridgers. Profiles in Leadership: Robert W. Crawford Recreation and Park Hall of Fame. Champaign, IL: Sagamore Publishing, 2009. p.126.
With over 60 years of producing consumer products designed for fun, play, and sport, Wham-O markets many recognizable brands of toys that continue to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Many of their toys encourage physical activity, and they have become known as classic, well made toys.
Where Do The Children Play? (WDCP?) is a PBS documentary, a corresponding study guide, and an outreach project promoting the importance of open-ended play for the development of healthy children. Child-initiated play time in natural play spaces has been diminishing due to the “stranger danger” fears of adults, the trend toward only teacher-led instruction time in the schools, the decrease in free time due to adult organized activities, the increasingly limited access to wild and semi-wild nature play spaces for children, and the lure of electronic games.1
1. “Where Do The Children Play? Project.” Where Do The Children Play? Project. < https://sites.google.com/site/wheredothechildrenplayproject/ > 5 July 2011.
The White House Conference on Bullying Prevention was held on March 10, 2011. Hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama along with the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, the conference brought together approximately 150 students, parents, teachers, non-profit leaders, advocates and policymakers to discuss how they could work together to make the nation’s schools and communities safe for all students.1
1. “President and First Lady Call For a United Effort to Address Bullying.” White House Office of the Press Secretary. < http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/10/president-and-first-lady-call-united-effort-address-bullying > 28 March 2011.
Wiffle Ball Inc. is the creator, manufacturer, and distributor of the Wiffle Ball and Bat, “an outdoor toy, designed to get people out in the fresh air, playing ball and getting exercise.”1 Designed to be played in small spaces, such as a backyard or city street, Wiffle Ball is a simplified version of softball or baseball that has the additional challenge of hitting a plastic ball that ducks and dives as it crosses the plate.
1. Silverman, Fran. “Wiffle Ball Inc. Has Changed Little In The 50 Years (a blast from your past).” Hartford Courant. 1 Aug. 2004. < http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1190391/posts > 11 Nov. 2011.
David Hawkins and Karen Payne founded Wild Zones as a consulting service to assist communities “concerned with fostering children's free play in nature and creating intergenerational projects that build community.”1 Wild Zones or “Create-with-Nature” Zones are open-ended natural play spaces for self-directed play, creativity, learning, and socializing among children, adolescents, and adults.2
Penny Wilson is a professional Playworker who works for the Play Association Tower Hamlets – PATH, a non-profit organization based in the East End of London that supports play in an overcrowded, poor, increasingly urban setting.
Penny Wilson grew up in the South East of England, where she enjoyed the freedom of playing on the rolling hills of the South Downs and beside the sea. The playful experiences of her childhood would influence her work in advocating for play for over 25 years.1
1. Biography from the US Play Coalition Conference on the Value of Play, held February 2011.
When the city of Winifred, Montana was planning their new multi-purpose community center, the idea of a museum to complement the already planned library, reception hall, city offices, post office, and emergency services department was proposed. At that time Roger Thompson was aware that his uncle, John Thompson, was seeking a venue for his extensive collection of Tonka Toys. John, a native of Winifred, was pleased to offer 3,000 toys out of his 5,000 piece collection making the Winifred Museum one of the largest collections of Tonka Toys in the world.1
1. “Winifred Museum.” Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). < www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A8iYaHZdUA > 3 June 2011.
Women in Toys (WIT) is a professional mentoring and networking organization for women and men within the toy, entertainment, and licensing industries. As a global organization they support and celebrate achievements of women while providing resources, access, information, and recognition for “ingenuity, resourcefulness and creativity” of both men and women in the industry.1
1. “About.” Women in Toys. < http://womenintoys.com/about/ > 6 Feb. 2013.
WonderWorx designs and manufactures kinetically-activated musical, sensory, and educational playground equipment for play spaces, parks, schools, sensory gardens, and museums. Robert Tobias founded WonderWorx in 2002 after having a successful art gallery, Waterfall Hope, in Aspen, Colorado for over 20 years.1
1. “WonderWorx LLC.” Email message to Playground Professionals. 19 Aug. 2011.
The World Play Day, sponsored by the International Toy Library Association (ITLA), is held on the 28th of May to commemorate the day the ITLA was proposed in 1987. Unlike most official “days,” the World Play Day is more of an attitude of connecting generations through play than a day of scheduled or planned events.
The World Waterpark Association (WWA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the safety and profitability of the waterpark industry. Serving the owners and managers of water-leisure facilities as well as the product manufacturers and developers, the WWA supports the growing and expanding water recreation industry.
The Worldwide Day of Play (WWDOP), an initiative of the entertainment brand, Nickelodeon, is designed to encourage active outdoor play. Every year since 2004, Nickelodeon has designated the Worldwide Day of Play signaling children and families to move away from their television and computer screens by having the Nickelodeon networks and websites go dark for three hours.1
1. “Nickelodeon Celebrates Largest Ever Worldwide Day Of Play In Washington, Around The World On Sept. 24.” Nick Press. < http://www.nickpress-worldwidedayofplay.com/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
Dr. Brett Wright is a professor and an active researcher concerning park management issues, community impacts, and the importance of nature-based play for children. He is also the Chairman of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at Clemson University and the Co-Chairman of the US Play Coalition hosted by Clemson University.1
1. “Brett A. Wright, Ph.D.” Email to Playground Professionals. 31 Oct. 2011.