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.
Adventures in Risky Play
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.
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
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.”
Build Your Own Playground!
Build Your Own Playground! A Sourcebook of Play Sculptures, Designs, and Concepts from the Work of Jay Beckwith contains planning and building details for creative playgrounds built from unorthodox materials with community volunteers. The book was written by Jeremy Joan Hewes with Jay Beckwith and was published in 1975.
Children At Play
Written by Howard P. Chudacoff, Children At Play is a history of children's play in America from 1600 to the 21st century.
Children on Playgrounds
Children On Playgrounds: Research Perspectives and Applications is a collection of research and review papers edited by Craig H. Hart that sheds light on practical child development issues in the context of outdoor play environments.
Classic Toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame
Classic Toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame describes the classic toys that have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame from 1998 to 2008. The American toys described include their histories with their inventors and how they were made as well as why they became so popular.
Design & Play: Imagination Needs Places to Thrive
Design & Play: Imagination Needs Places to Thrive was written and edited by Sam Aquillano and Amanda Hawkins and published by Design Museum Press in 2017 as a publication to accompany the exhibition Extraordinary Playscapes, curated by Design Museum Foundation.
Design for Play
Richard Dattner wrote Design for Play, an illustrated book of play spaces and philosophies which create an "environment where play, learning, and the human spirit are nurtured."
Developmental Physical Education for All Children
Developmental Physical Education for All Children was written by David L. Gallahue and Frances Cleland Donnelly to prepare future teachers to teach physical education using a student-focused, developmentally appropriate approach.
Education By Plays and Games
George E. Johnson wrote Education By Plays and Games in 1907 to "help promote a wider and higher appreciation of play and of its value in education, and add somewhat to the sum of child happiness in the world."
Education Through Play
Written by Henry S. Curtis in 1915, Education Through Play discussed the issue of children's play as it was viewed at that time. Education Through Play suggested that play should be included in the child's school day.
Encyclopedia of Play in Today's Society
Encyclopedia of Play in Today’s Society is a two-volume book that offers over 450 entries about play. This set contains a wide variety of topics including the leisure and recreational activities of children and adults throughout history as well as specific games, toys, and amateur sports they enjoy.
First Steps in Organizing Playgrounds
Lee F. Hanmer, the Field Secretary of the Playground Association of America, wrote First Steps in Organizing Playgrounds, published in 1908 to offer "helpful suggestions to committees and associations that are planning to begin or extend public playgrounds."
Games Children Play
Games Children Play: How games and sport help children develop was written by Kim Brooking-Payne and published in 1996 by Hawthorn Press. The aim of the book is not only to outline ways of organizing children’s games, but also to give insight into why the game is appropriate for a particular age or stage of development.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium
Jessie H. Bancroft wrote Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium in 1909 as a practical guide of 400 games for adult and child players in active games, quiet games, singing games, skilled athletic feats, and ball and bean bag games. He believed that "play, in games and other forms, is nature's own way of developing and training power."
The book Handcrafted Playgrounds - Designs You Can Build Yourself was written by M. Paul Friedberg. The book is a sketchbook of designs based on the premises that anyone can build a playground and that the actual process of the building can be as important as the finished product.
The Highlights magazine is a children's publication dedicated to assisting them in acquiring basic skills and knowledge, developing the ability to think and reason, fostering creativity, encouraging sensitivity to others, and choosing high ideals as a way of living.
Homo Ludens: a study of the play element in culture was written in 1938 by Johan Huizinga, a Dutch historian who lived from 1872 to 1945. The title, Homo Ludens, translates to mean Man the Player.
I Learn from Children
Caroline Pratt, the founder of The Play School, later known as The City and Country School, believed that the school should fit the child instead of the child fitting the school. In the early 20th century in New York City, this was a progressive idea along with her ideas that early learning comes through first-hand experiences with play being the most effective and natural avenue for children.
International Journal of Play
The International Journal of Play is an inter-disciplinary publication that focuses on all facets of play. It is published by Routledge, a distinguished publisher of leading educational research since 1836. The first issue of the International Journal of Play was released in March of 2012 with three issues published yearly.
Landscape Architect and Specifier News
Created in 1985, Landscape Architect and Specifier News (LASN) is a professional journal that features issues and projects led or influenced by registered landscape architects. Their mission is to "entertain and educate landscape professionals, and connect them to vendors and service providers." Through project highlights, new concepts spotlights, industry news reports, company advertisements, monthly vendor listings, and a yearly Specifier's Guide, they promote and inform professional landscape architects nationwide.
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM) is the monthly publication of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and as such promotes their mission "to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments."
Last Child in the Woods
Richard Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, brought the need to reconnect children with nature to the forefront of childhood issues. The book describes the current status of children and nature play.
Maintaining Child’s Play
Maintaining Child's Play offers a comprehensive approach to playground maintenance with the goal of preventing or minimizing injuries on the playground, legally protecting playground installers and operators, and facilitating the longevity of playground equipment.
Man, Play and Games
Man, Play and Games is a classic study of play and games and how they affect society and become a part of daily life. The book was written by Roger Caillois and was originally published in 1958 as Les jeux et les hommes.
Natural Playscapes, Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul
Rusty Keeler's Natural Playscapes, Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul is an explanation of and a workbook for creating children's outdoor play areas. These natural playscapes utilize "art, hills, pathways, trees, herbs, open areas, sand, water, music" so that "children will find places to run, climb, dig, pretend, and hide, with opportunities to bellow or be silent."
No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society
Written by British play advocate Tim Gill, No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society, questions society's trend to increasingly try to eliminate risks in children's everyday lives based on perceived fears for their safety.
Park & Rec Trades
The Park & Rec Trades magazine, established in 1994, was an independent monthly super-tabloid publication targeted specifically to national, state, county, and city municipal park administrators and staff as well as national military facility grounds administrators and staff.
Parks & Rec Business
Parks & Rec Business Magazine (PRB) is a recreation industry resource for parks and recreation directors, staff, and managers. Published by Northstar Publishing, PRB includes information concerning play spaces, parks, fitness, sports, and aquatics as well as administration, leadership, programming, grounds, and maintenance.
Parks & Recreation Magazine
The Parks & Recreation Magazine is the recreation industry magazine for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). It furthers their mission “to advance parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people.”Unknown Object As a monthly resource, Parks & Recreation Magazine is available in both hard copy and digital formats.
Pioneers in Public Recreation
George D. Butler wrote Pioneers in Public Recreation (1965) in the spirit of dedication to the men and women whose accomplishments shaped the "beginnings, growth, and significance of the recreation movement," a movement he believed to be "one of the outstanding developments of the twentieth century."
Planning for Play
Lady Allen of Hurtwood, noting that concerning play there was "a wealth of experience, but little informed, published material," wrote Planning for Play in 1968 to assist those architects, planners, and leaders "determined to break away from the sterile barrack-type of playground of asphalt and mechanical equipment."
Planning Parks for People
Planning Parks for People was written by John Hultsman, Richard L. Cottrell, and Wendy Hultsman. This book takes an honest look at the outdoor recreation profession exposing mistakes that have been made and giving guidelines to aid in achieving better park design and recreation programs.
Play = Learning
Play = Learning: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children’s Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth was edited by Dorothy G. Singer, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek.
Play and Child Development
Play and Child Development is designed primarily as a textbook for upper division students to guide understanding of how play ties directly to child development.
Play and Playground Magazine
Play and Playground Magazine is a national publication, published quarterly by Playground Professionals LLC, dedicated to the needs and interests of those involved with children's play and the playground industry.
Play and Playscapes
Joe L. Frost, EdD, has more than 50 years experience in research and teaching. Joe Frost has authored books and articles on the subject of play, playgrounds, safety, children's poverty, and play and child development. One of his books, Play and Playscapes, addresses the nature and value of play and developmentally appropriate play environments for children.
Play for All Guidelines
Play for All Guidelines: Planning, Design and Management of Outdoor Play Settings for All Children is an industry standard for planners, designers, and managers of outdoor play settings. It is a comprehensive design resource available for integrating children of all abilities in the same play area.
Play in American Life
Play in American Life is a compilation of essays written in honor of Dr. Joe L. Frost, best known for his work in the area of play and play environments. The book was published in 2017 and edited by Mary Ruth Moore and Constance Sabo-Risley.
Play in Education
Published in 1915, Play in Education was written by Joseph Lee, one of the most influential of the recreation pioneers, who was known as the "Father of the Playground Movement." As early as the 1880s Lee was involved in working to provide playgrounds in underprivileged neighborhoods.
Play It Safe, An Anthology of Playground Safety
The original Play It Safe, An Anthology of Playground Safety was edited by Monty Christiansen in 1992. Hans Vogelsong joined Monty in editing the 2nd edition, which was published in 1996 by The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
Play Today in the Primary School Playground
Play Today in the Primary School Playground is a compilation of papers presented at the 1988 "The State of Play: Perspectives on Children's Oral Culture" international conference held at the University of Sheffield and sponsored by the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition. The organizers of the conference and the editors of the resulting book, Julia C. Bishop and Mavis Curtis, maintain that the common belief of the decline of children's play needs to be reexamined in light of children's self directed traditional play.
Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul
Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul describes the significance of play in the lives of animals and humans and how free play develops the social and locomotive skills in children that are necessary for creative thinking later in life.
Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play
Mike Lanza wrote Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play as a “road map” for solving the “free play problem” confronting families living in a world of safety fears, school encroachment, and adult structured activities. Mike highlights eight diverse neighborhoods where free play is being supported and then outlines six key suggestions for creating such a neighborhood where children can “laugh and run and think... every day.”
Playful Teaching Practices
Playful Teaching Practices: A Little Book of Leadership Resources, Techniques and Activities offers positive and playful ways to facilitate a group through checklists and stories from the authors’ own experiences.
Playground Construction School Course Manual
Presented by the National Playground Contractors Association Inc. (NPCAI) and written by Curtis and Nicole Stoddard, the Playground Construction School Course Manual is a course manual which covers start to finish details of constructing a playground as well as information on support organizations, safety standards, and business regulations.
Playground Safety Is No Accident
Playground Safety Is No Accident: Developing a Public Playground Safety and Maintenance Program was first published by the National Recreation and Park Association in 1992 through their National Playground Safety Institute and the Park District Risk Management Agency. The 2nd edition, printed in 1998, reflects the updated ASTM International F1487 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use.
Playgrounds for Free
Playgrounds for Free: The Utilization of Used and Surplus Materials in Playground Construction was written by Paul Hogan and published by The MIT Press in 1974. The book details the potential of using “junk” materials and involving the community to build playgrounds.
Playgrounds for Young Children
Playgrounds for Young Children: National Survey and Perspectives was edited by Sue C. Wortham and Joe L. Frost. This book reports the findings of the Preschool Playground Equipment Survey, which is the result of 349 surveys conducted by 62 trained volunteers in 31 states.
Playgrounds, Their Administration and Operation
Playgrounds, Their Administration and Operation was published in 1936 by A. S. Barnes and Company. Edited by George D. Butler for the National Recreation Association, the book addresses the concerns of playground administrators and their day to day operations.
Playgrounds: The Planning, Design and Construction of Play Environments
Peter Heseltine and John Holborn, coauthors of Playgrounds: The Planning, Design and Construction of Play Environments, re-examine how children relate to their environment and focus on the developmental needs of children as they learn and grow through play.
Profiles in Leadership
Comprising 34 biographies of men and women, the Robert W. Crawford Recreation and Park Hall of Fame, Profiles in Leadership honors "some of the forgotten giants in this field who have paved the way for today's leaders." In doing so, Profiles in Leadership also provides a history of the public recreation and park movement in America.
Public Playground Safety Handbook
The Public Playground Safety Handbook, also known as Publication #325, was published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, most recently in November 2010. The publication of this handbook is designed to give guidelines to those concerned with public playground safety.
Recreation Management is a monthly magazine published by CAB Communications of Palatine, Illinois. The magazine was created in the fall of 1999 by publisher Chris Belbin with the aim of providing facility managers of recreation, sports, and fitness facilities current information on products, ideas, issues, and trends in the recreation market.
Reflections of a Recreation Professional
Reflections of a Recreation Professional is an autobiography written by Robert Wilson Crawford and published by the National Recreation and Park Association in 1993. He had a long and distinguished career in park and recreation and was recognized as one of the greatest leaders in the field.
Risk and Our Pedagogical Relation to Children On the Playground and Beyond
Risk and Our Pedagogical Relation to Children: On the Playground and Beyond was written by Stephen J. Smith as a study about children’s experiences on the playground regarding the riskiness of children’s lives, their sense of risk, and the involvement of adults that he calls the pedagogical relation to children.
SAFE and Fun Playgrounds: A Handbook
SAFE and Fun Playgrounds: A Handbook was written by Heather M. Olsen, Susan D. Hudson, and Donna Thompson. The book gives important guidelines in planning playgrounds that are safe and engaging.
Safety Sense at Play
Safety Sense at Play was written by Heward Grafftey. The book covers the safety issues involved with a wide range of sport recreational activities enjoyed by children and adults. The book is intended to be a reference book that explains why accidents occur and what steps can be taken to prevent them.
Savage Park, A Meditation on Play, Space, and Risk for Americans who are Nervous, Distracted, and Afraid to Die written by Amy Fusselman explores the dangers of America's obsession with safety and discovers that the desire for a risk-free life to insulate from pain also insulates from real joy.
Seasons of Play
Seasons of Play: Natural Environments of Wonder was written by Rusty Keeler and published by Gryphon House, Inc. in 2016. The book contains over 200 photographs of the natural outdoor environments of three home-based preschools.
The Ambiguity of Play
The Ambiguity of Play was written by Brian Sutton-Smith and published in 1997. As a leading play theorist, Sutton-Smith considers the possible meanings of play as they have been debated and described in a range of disciplines including education, biology, psychology, and sociology.
The Complete Guide to Playground Development
The Complete Guide to Playground Development was written by Robert Collins and published in 2008. The book serves as a manual to guide the playground development process of commercial and public use playgrounds from design to final construction.
The Demonstration Play School of 1913
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 Developmental Benefits of Playgrounds
With multiple audiences in mind, The Developmental Benefits of Playgrounds, co-authored by Joe L. Frost, Pei-San Brown, John A. Sutterby, and Candra D. Thornton, focuses on the importance of playgrounds for children's broad developmental needs.
The Hurried Child
The Hurried Child: growing up too fast too soon was written by David Elkind, Ph.D. The author calls attention to the crippling effects of hurrying children through life and blurring the boundaries of what is age-appropriate for them by expecting too much of them too soon forcing them to grow up too fast.
The Leader's Handbook
Co-authored by Bill Michaelis and John M. O'Connell, The Leader's Handbook, Learning Leadership Skills by Facilitating Fun, Games, Play, and Positive Interaction is a practical guide for play leaders geared toward training them to manage all age groups and effectively lead games play and team-building activities.
The Nature Principle
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 says The Nature Principle is "about the power of living in nature - not with it, but in it."
The Nuts and Bolts of Playground Construction
The Nuts and Bolts of Playground Construction, written by Paul Hogan, is Volume 3 of A Trilogy of Play and focuses mainly on the "how" of creating play spaces. Written largely as a "how to" book complete with diagrams, designs, and copious pictures, Paul also spotlighted nations where play is honored and includes articles that highlight his philosophy of play.
The Play Movement and Its Significance
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."
The Play Movement in the United States
The Play Movement in the United States, A Study of Community Recreation, written by Clarence E. Rainwater, PhD. was published in 1922 by The University of Chicago. The book is an analysis of the concept and structure of the play movement in the United States from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Playground was the official monthly journal published by the Executive Committee of the Playground Association of America (PAA). The association was formed to support and expand the playground movement of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
The Playwork Primer
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. She has endeavored to introduce playwork and the adventure playground concepts to the American play industry.
The Power of Play
David Elkind wrote The Power of Play, that encapsulates his belief that "a happy and productive life" must include playing, loving, and working. Recognizing four broad development stages - Infancy and Early Childhood, Elementary School Years, Adolescence, and Adulthood - The Power of Play explores how the proportion of play, love, and work vary in each stage.
The Science of Play
The Science of Play: How to Build Playgrounds That Enhance Children’s Development was written by Susan G. Solomon. The book uses recent data from the behavioral sciences to demonstrate how to design innovative, multifunctional spaces to allow children to take risks, experience failure but also have a chance to master difficult tasks, learn to plan and solve problems, exercise self-control, and develop friendships.
The Well-Played Game
The Well-Played Game: A Player’s Philosophy was written by Bernard DeKoven and published in 2013. This updated book was originally published in 1978 and became a classic treatise on how human beings play together.
Universal Access to Outdoor Recreation
Project Play and Learning in Adaptable Environments, Inc. (PLAE), a nonprofit, multi-disciplinary organization, published Universal Access to Outdoor Recreation: A Design Guide in 1993. It presents an approach for incorporating universal design into the outdoor recreation environment.
When Children Play
Co-edited by Joe Frost and Sylvia Sunderlin, When Children Play, Proceedings of the International Conference on Play and Play Environments is a compilation of papers given at the International Conference on Play and Play Environments held at the University of Texas at Austin in 1983.
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Where Our Children Play
Where Our Children Play: Community Park Playground Equipment was edited by Donna Thompson and Louis Bowers. The book was published in 1989 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (now known as SHAPE America).