The German Influence on the Development of the US Playground Movement

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The playgrounds of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had only a little in common with our notion of playgrounds today, which are planned for young children and equipped with sand gardens, shovels, slides or monkey bars. Although the playgrounds of the period mentioned above provided space and equipment for younger children, they were actually grounds offering space for various kinds of sports and gymnastic exercises. The target groups of these playgrounds were primarily not young children but boys and girls of a more mature age. The structure of the playgrounds, with a square for gymnastic activities and a separate playing field, was that of the early outdoor gymnasiums introduced by the immigration of the early German Turner in the USA in the 1820s. 1 Because of this similarity in infrastructure one cannot deny a link between the Turner and the playground movement in the United States. But the aim of this article is to examine another German influence on the playground movement: namely the play movement in Germany. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR
Original languageEnglish
JournalSport in History
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)313-328
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ID: 253662

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