A History of Children's Play and Play Environments

A History of Children's Play and Play Environments
With more than 50 years experience in research and teaching, Joe L. Frost, wrote A History of Children's Play and Play Environments: Toward a Contemporary Child-Saving Movement. He has authored numerous books and articles on the subject of play, playgrounds, safety, children's poverty, and play and child development.

A World Fit For Kids!

A World Fit For Kids!
A Los Angeles afterschool program, A World Fit For Kids! (WFIT) is a nonprofit organization that utilizes an award-winning mentoring model in disadvantaged communities in order to reduce childhood obesity, increase high school graduation rates, and prepare youth for the workforce.

A.C. Gilbert Company

A.C. Gilbert Company
Alfred Carlton (A.C.) Gilbert founded and led the A.C. Gilbert Company for over 50 years. What began with magic sets was soon anchored with his most famous invention, the Erector Set. Over the years, A.C. Gilbert Company also produced chemistry sets, radio kits, microscopes, telegraph sets, electricity sets, weather stations, Atomic Energy sets, and American Flyer trains.

A.G. Spalding & Bros.

A.G. Spalding & Bros. logo
A.G. Spalding & Bros. Inc., an American sporting goods company, opened its first store in Chicago in 1876. Eventually known simply as Spalding, the company has had a long history of manufacturing baseballs, footballs, basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, and a wide range of athletic equipment and clothing.

Action Figures

Action Figures
Called action figures rather than dolls, these doll-like toys are targeted for boys. The action figures are traditionally created from comic book characters, movie characters, and real life heroes whose stories can be acted out as children play with them.

Action for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids logo
As a nonprofit organization, Action for Healthy Kids is helping schools teach kids how to eat right, be active every day, and be ready to learn. Action for Healthy Kids is a network of grassroots volunteers who have the shared vision of assisting all kids to develop lifelong habits that promote health and learning.

Active Living Research

Active Living Research
Established in 2001 as a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Active Living Research supports research to identify environmental factors and policies that influence physical activity. Active Living Research is especially interested in reversing the rise of childhood obesity in youth of low-income and high-risk communities.

Active Playground Equipment

Active Playground Equipment
Located in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Active Playground Equipment is a manufacturer of commercial playground equipment. Active Playground Equipment is committed to the global environment, which is reflected in their green policies.

Active Schools

Active Schools
Active Schools is a national movement to ensure that 60 minutes a day of physical education and before, during, and after-school physical activity is the norm in K-12 schools throughout the United States.

ActiveKidsClub

ActiveKidsClub
More than just a blog, ActiveKidsClub is a grassroots community dedicated to connecting children and adults to the outdoors through play, cooking, and lifestyle choices. Founder Kari Svenneby created the ActiveKidsClub blog and resulting website.

Addams, Jane

Jane Addams
Jane Addams was an early twentieth century reformer for better living conditions for the poor, equality and justice for oppressed populations, and world peace for all. One of the many reforms she championed was the basic human need for play.

Adventure Playground Systems

Adventure Playground Systems
Adventure Playground Systems is a commercial playground designer and equipment manufacturer. They create outdoor play systems, soft play systems, early childhood systems, skate parks, splash pads, fitness equipment, stand alone structures, and Iron Kids structures.

Adventure Playgrounds

Adventure Playgrounds
The original concept for adventure playgrounds began in Europe in 1931. C. Th. Sorensen, a Danish landscape and playground designer, saw children playing everywhere except at the traditional cement and asphalt playgrounds. The idea that children would rather play with dirt, rocks, lumber, etc. started a revolution in the playground industry.

Adventures in Risky Play

Adventures in Risky Play by Rusty Keeler
Adventures in Risky Play: What Is Your Yes? was written by Rusty Keeler and published in 2020. This book invites its readers to consider the boundaries and feelings they have about what risky play should be allowed and challenges them to discover where their boundary lines might be movable.

Affective Development

Affective development is the development of emotions as well as their outward expression that begins in infancy and progresses throughout adolescence. It encompasses the awareness and discernment of one's emotions as well as those of others, the ability to connect emotions to those of others, to display emotion, and to manage one's own emotions.

Age Appropriate

Age appropriate
Not all play equipment is age appropriate for all children who use a playground. Playgrounds should be designed for three age categories, toddlers, pre-school, and school age, to provide age appropriate playground equipment.

Agility

Agility
Agility is the ability to efficiently move and change the direction and the position of the body quickly in a controlled manner. This requires the integration of a combination of skills, such as balance, coordination, reflexes, speed, and strength.

Ahern, Tim

Tim Ahern BCI Burke
Tim Ahern owned and led BCI Burke Company, a playground manufacturing company that has been in the business of creating playgrounds since the 1920s, from 1997 to 2017. Although not a member of the original Burke family, Tim held the same values and traits as his predecessors at BCI Burke.

Ahren's Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award

Ahren's Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award
The National Program for Playground Safety gives the Ahren's Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award to an individual who exemplifies the care and concern for children by helping keep our nation's playgrounds safe. The Ahren's Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award was first given in 2002.

Ahrens, Claude

Claude Ahrens
Biography of Claude W. Ahrens, who started the Miracle Recreation Equipment Company. Claude Ahrens' support for the recreation industry continues today through the Ahrens Foundation.

Ahrens, Paul

Paul Ahrens
Paul Ahrens, the son of Claude Ahrens, joined the family business, Miracle Playground Equipment Company, after a year of college. He was a talented inventor like his father and grandfather, John Ahrens.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation joined together in 2005 to form the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. They seek to reduce childhood obesity by 2015 through empowering children to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Alliance for Childhood

Alliance for Childhood
Formed in 1999, the Alliance for Childhood advocates for children's healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living. The Alliance for Childhood seeks to restore free play for children while warning against the trend of "high stakes" testing in education and the overuse of technology by children that limits their active play time.

Almon, Joan

Joan Almon
Joan Almon was the Founding Director of the Alliance for Childhood and served as its Director of Programs. She was a former co-chair of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America and a consultant on early childhood education.

Alphabet Blocks

Alphabet Blocks
The idea of using alphabet blocks was seen as an essential tool for learning for young children. It encouraged learning to read and spell in an enjoyable way. Typically, a set of alphabet blocks contains 26 blocks, each containing a letter of the alphabet.

America Bikes

America Bikes
A coalition of seven biking organizations, America Bikes advocates for recognition of bicycling needs in the United States. America Bikes focuses on the Federal Transportation Bill and other federal policy that affect bicycling and walking.

America SCORES

America Scores logo
An urban youth program, America SCORES combines team-based soccer leagues, poetry appreciation and writing curricula, and youth-led civic service projects.

America Walks

America Walks
A nonprofit coalition of independent organizations, America Walks is dedicated to creating communities where walking is a safe and comfortable choice for all people. America Walks supports local pedestrian advocacy groups, educates the public about the benefits of walking, and speaks as a collective, national voice for transforming America's transportation system.

America's State Parks

America's State Parks
The National Association of State Park Directors launched the America's State Parks alliance in 2009. America's State Parks educates the public on the positive impact on public health and local economies that state parks offer.

American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration

American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) is an organization of distinguished practitioners and scholars committed to the advancement of the park and recreation field.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Northwestern University founded the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is committed to raising the public's awareness of playground safety.

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) is a national organization of over 20,000 professionals that provides support and assistance to professionals involved in physical education, recreation, fitness, sports and coaching, health education, and dance.

American Association for Leisure & Recreation

Established in 2005, the American Association for Leisure & Recreation (AALR) was formed to support community based programs for "creative and active lifestyles through meaningful physical activity, recreation and fitness experiences across the lifespan."

American Association of School Administrators

AASA The School Superintendents Association
A professional organization of education leaders, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) has a mission to "support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children."

American Camp Association

American Camp Association
Founded to support the organized camping movement, the American Camp Association (ACA) is a nonprofit organization with the mission of enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience.

American Girl

American Girl
A subsidiary of Mattel, American Girl manufactures historical dolls, customized dolls, baby dolls, toddler dolls, doll clothing and matching children's clothing, and period accurate accessories and furniture.

American International Toy Fair

American International Toy Fair
The Toy Industry Association hosts the American International Toy Fair each year to showcase the newest toys and games on the market. It is the largest toy tradeshow in the Western Hemisphere.

American Journal of Play

American Journal of Play
The American Journal of Play was established in 2008 by Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Two years later the museum was renamed The Strong, and the journal became one of five Play Partners within that broader museum concept.

American Playgrounds, Revitalizing Community Space

American Playgrounds, Revitalizing Community Space
Author Susan G. Solomon wrote American Playgrounds, Revitalizing Community Space as a history of American playgrounds and a call for change. It has been called “a compelling history, a manifesto, and a manual for change.”

American Society of Landscape Architects

American Society of Landscape Architects
Begun in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects promotes initiatives, campaigns, and congressional acts in areas of economic recovery, transportation, sustainable design, livable communities, water and stormwater, and historic landscapes.

American Specialty Toy Retailing Association

American Specialty Toy Retailing Association
A nonprofit trade association, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) provides leadership and resources to specialty toy manufacturers, independent retailers, specialty suppliers and service providers, and industry affiliates.

American Youth Soccer Organization

American Youth Soccer Organization
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization that provides youth soccer programs with the mission to provide a positive, fun, family environment where everyone plays and good sportsmanship is promoted.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

Anne and Kirk Douglas Playgrounds

Anne and Kirk Douglas Playgrounds
The mission of the Anne and Kirk Douglas Playgrounds is to encourage schools to refurbish playgrounds. The mission of the Douglas Playground Award is to encourage schools to refurbish playgrounds and rejuvenate school grounds by partnering with others in their community.

Aquatic Facility Operator

Aquatic Facility Operator
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) began offering the Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) certification in 1995. This five year certification is for professionals who manage and operate aquatic facilities and covers pool chemistry, management, safety, and risk reduction practices.

Armitage, Marc

Marc Armitage
Marc Armitage is a playwork consultant, trainer, researcher, lecturer, and author. He believes that play is “what children and young people do when they follow their own ideas and interests in their own way and for their own reasons” and that playwork is “not 'adult-led' or 'child-led', but 'play-led'.”

Arsenic

Arsenic
One of the main ingredients in a wood preservative called chromated cooper arsenate is arsenic. Children are exposed to arsenic in the environment from food, soil, water, and air as well as older wooden playground equipment.

Art Dinouveau

Art Dinouveau play structures
Founded in 2002 by Sascha Joffe and Alan Groves, Art Dinouveau is a commercial art and sculpture company specializing in nature-inspired play equipment and botanical concept furniture. Their larger-than-life range of artistic play sculptures has been designed in their jungle-surrounded studio in Queensland, Australia.

Association for Childhood Education International

Association for Childhood Education International
A nonprofit global organization, the Association for Childhood Education International promotes and supports the education and development of children so that "Every child in every nation will have access to quality education."

Association of Children's Museums

Association of Children's Museums
Begun in 1962 as an informal gathering of directors of children's museums, the Association of Children's Museums is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Association of Children's Museums views children's museums as an "essential community resource where play inspires creativity and lifelong learning."

Associative Play

Associative Play
Associative Play is one of the categories used to describe the development of social play by preschoolers. It is generally the first stage where social interaction is required in children’s play as they engage in a mutual activity, though not working toward a common goal.

ASTM International

ASTM International
The organization, ASTM International, is the developer and provider of voluntary consensus standards in public safety to create industry best practice standards for the public good. ASTM International was originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Atomic Playgrounds

Atomic Playgrounds
Since 1994, Atomic Playgrounds has designed, manufactured, and installed indoor contained play spaces and outdoor playgrounds. Atomic Playgrounds creates themed play systems for amusement centers, dentists, museums, malls, restaurants, and retail outlets.

Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder
Commonly known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), this condition has the "official" clinical name of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children in the United States meet the criteria of Attention Deficit Disorder.

Attunement Play

Attunement Play
Attunement play has been described as the base state of play. When an infant around three or four months of age and a caregiver make eye contact with each other resulting in an emotional connection, they are said to be "attuned" with one another in a playful way with each experiencing a spontaneous surge of emotion.

Attwell, Ernest T

Ernest T Attwell
An important recreation pioneer, Ernest T. Attwell extended the "quality as well as quantity" of recreational opportunities for minority groups in the first half of the 20th century. Ernest T. Attwell was inducted into the Robert W. Crawford Recreation and Park Hall of Fame in October of 1989.

Autism

Autism
Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized in varying degrees by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.
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