Advertisement

Play and Playgrounds in Children’s Geographies

  • Ann Marie F. MurnaghanEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP, volume 1)

Abstract

Research on play and playgrounds covers a huge swath of literature in children’s geographies. Studies on play can be both abstract and material and range from the well-debated differentiation between work and play to the essential nature of children and childhood. Playgrounds on the other hand are concrete, historically public, spaces. Some of the earliest research in the geography of children explored the role of the playground in children’s lives, and their playful activities in the city and country. This chapter will explore theoretical and empirical research on play and playgrounds in children’s geographies. As a review of the field, this chapter will highlight the foundational and current literature on play and playgrounds, including the origins of the Playground Movement, and will integrate the literature that the student of play and playgrounds in children’s geographies should know.

Keywords

Play Playgrounds Playground Movement Psychology Sociology History 

References

  1. Aitken, S. C. (1994). Putting children in their place. Washington, DC: Association of American Geographers.Google Scholar
  2. Aitken, S. C. (2004). From dismissals and disciplinary inclusions; from block politics to panic rooms. Children’s Geographies, 2(2), 171–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aitken, S. C., & Colley III, D. E. (2011). Schoolyard violence. In M. Paludi (Ed.), The psychology of teen violence and victimization (pp. 83–104). Santa Barbara: Praeger.Google Scholar
  4. Allen, B. M. G. A. (1968). Planning for play. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Anchor, R. (1978). History and play: Johan Huizinga and his critics. History and Theory, 17(1), 63–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Änggård, E. (2016). How matter comes to matter in children’s nature play: Posthumanist approaches and children’s geographies. Children’s Geographies, 14(1), 77–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ariès, P. (1970). Centuries of childhood: A social history of family life. Transl. from the French by Robert Baldick. New York: A.A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  8. Baylina Ferré, M., Ortiz Guitart, A., & Pratts Ferret, M. (2006). Children and playgrounds in Mediterranean cities. Children’s Geographies, 4(2), 173–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baylina, M., Ortiz, A., & Ferret, M. P. (2016). Nature in urban children’s daily life in Catalonia. In A. M. F. Murnaghan & L. J. Shillington (Eds.), Children, nature, cities (pp. 153–170). New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Benjamin, W. (1978). On the mimetic faculty. In Reflections: Essays, aphorisms, autobiographical writings (pp. 333–336). New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
  11. Benwell, M. C. (2013). Rethinking conceptualisations of adult-imposed restriction and children’s experiences of autonomy in outdoor space. Children’s Geographies, 11(1), 28–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Blaut, J. M., & Stea, D. (1971). Studies of geographic learning. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 61(2), 387–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Blaut, J. M., & Stea, D. (1974). Mapping at the age of three. Journal of Geography, 73(7), 5–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Blazek, M. (2013). Emotions as practice: Anna Freud’s child psychoanalysis and thinking–doing children’s emotional geographies. Emotion, Space and Society, 9, 24–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bloch, M. & Pellegrini, A. D. (Eds.). (1989). The ecological context of children’s play. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
  16. Bunge, W., & Bordessa, R. (1975). The Canadian alternative: Survival, expeditions and urban change (No. 2). Department of Geography, Atkinson College, York University.Google Scholar
  17. Cavallo, D. (1981). Muscles and morals: Organized playgrounds and urban reform, 1880–1920. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  18. Chaudhury, M., Oliver, M., Badland, H., Garrett, N., & Witten, K. (2017). Using the Public Open Space Attributable Index tool to assess children’s public open space use and access by independent mobility. Children’s Geographies, 15(2), 193–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cope, M. (2009). Challenging adult perspectives on children’s geographies through participatory research methods: Insights from a service-learning course. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 33(1), 33–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cranz, G. (1982). The politics of park design. A history of urban parks in America. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  21. Dagenais, M. (2006). Faire et fuir la ville. Espaces publics de culture et de loisirs à Montréal et Toronto aux XIXe et XXe siècles. Québec: Les Presses de l’Université Laval.Google Scholar
  22. Dyment, J. E. (2005). ‘There’s only so much money hot dog sales can bring in’: The intersection of green school grounds and socio-economic status. Children’s Geographies, 3(3), 307–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dyment, J. E., & Bell, A. C. (2007). Active by design: Promoting physical activity through school ground greening. Children’s Geographies, 5(4), 463–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dyment, J., & O’Connell, T. S. (2013). The impact of playground design on play choices and behaviors of pre-school children. Children’s Geographies, 11(3), 263–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dyment, J. E., Bell, A. C., & Lucas, A. J. (2009). The relationship between school ground design and intensity of physical activity. Children’s Geographies, 7(3), 261–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Erikson, E. H. (1940). Studies in the interpretation of play: I. Clinical observation of play disruption in young children. Provincetown: Journal Press.Google Scholar
  27. Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  28. Evans, B., & Horton, J. (2016). Introduction to play, recreation, health, and wellbeing in geographies of children and young people. In B. Evans, J. Horton, & T. Skelton (Eds.), Play and recreation, health and wellbeing (Springer major reference work: Geographies of children and young people, Vol. 9, pp. 1–14). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  29. Farrar, H. (1998). The Baltimore Afro-American, 1892–1950. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  30. Freeman, C. (1995a). Planning and play: Creating greener environments. Children’s Environments, 12(3), 381–388.Google Scholar
  31. Freeman, C. (1995b). The changing nature of children’s environmental experience: The shrinking realm of outdoor play. International Journal of Environmental Education and Information, 14(3), 259–280.Google Scholar
  32. Freeman, C., & Tranter, P. J. (2011). Children and their urban environment: Changing worlds. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Freud, A. (1936/1992). The ego and the mechanisms of defence. London: Karnac Books.Google Scholar
  34. Freud, S. (1909/1955). Analysis of a phobia in a five-year-old boy. In J. Strachey (Ed.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 10, pp. 1–147). London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  35. Frost, J. L. (2009). A history of children’s play and play environments: Toward a contemporary child-saving movement. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Frost, J. L., & Klein, B. L. (1979). Children’s play and playgrounds. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  37. Gagen, E. A. (2000a). An example to us all: Child development and identity construction in early 20th-century playgrounds. Environment and Planning A, 32(4), 599–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gagen, E. A. (2000b). Playing the part: Performing gender in America’s playgrounds. In G. Valentine & S. L. Holloway (Eds.), Children’s geographies (pp. 213–229). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Gagen, E. A. (2001). Too good to be true: Representing children’s agency in the archives of the playground movement. Historical Geography, 29, 53–64.Google Scholar
  40. Gagen, E. A. (2004). Making America flesh: Physicality and nationhood in early twentieth-century physical education reform. Cultural Geographies, 11(4), 417–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Goodman, C. (1979). Choosing sides: Playground and street life on the lower east side. New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
  42. Hall, G. S. (1883). The contents of children’s minds. Princeton Review, 2, 249–272.Google Scholar
  43. Hall, G. S. (1904). Adolescence: Its psychology and its relations to physiology, anthropology, sociology, sex, crime, religion, and education. New York: Appleton.Google Scholar
  44. Hancock, R., & Gillen, J. (2007). Safe places in domestic spaces: Two-year-olds at play in their homes. Children’s Geographies, 5(4), 337–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Harker, C. (2005). Playing and affective time-spaces. Children’s Geographies, 3(1), 47–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hart, R. (1979). Children’s experience of place. New York: Irvington Publishers.Google Scholar
  47. Hart, R. A., & Moore, G. T. (1973). The development of spatial cognition: A review. In R. M. Downs & D. Stea (Eds.), Image & environment: Cognitive mapping and spatial behavior (pp. 246–288). New Brunswick, NJ, US: AldineTransaction.Google Scholar
  48. Hayes, T. (2016). Playful approaches to outdoor learning: Boggarts, bears, and bunny rabbits. In B. Evans, J. Horton, & T. Skelton (Eds.), Play and recreation, health and wellbeing Springer major reference work: Geographies of children and young people, Vol. 9, (pp. 157–172). Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hemming, P. J. (2007). Renegotiating the primary school: Children’s emotional geographies of sport, exercise and active play. Children’s Geographies, 5(4), 353–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Holloway, S. L., & Valentine, G. (Eds.). (2000). Children’s geographies: Playing, living, learning. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Holt, L. (2007). Children’s sociospatial (re) production of disability within primary school playgrounds. Environment and Planning D, 25(5), 783–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Holt, N. L., Lee, H., Millar, C. A., & Spence, J. C. (2015). ‘Eyes on where children play’: A retrospective study of active free play. Children’s Geographies, 13(1), 73–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Howell, O. (2008). Play pays urban land politics and playgrounds in the United States, 1900–1930. Journal of Urban History, 34(6), 961–994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Huizinga, J. (1949). Homo Ludens. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  55. Jacobs, J. (1961). The death and life of great American cities. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  56. James, A., & James, A. L. (2001). Childhood: Toward a theory of continuity and change. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 575(1), 25–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. James, A., & Prout, A. (1990). Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood. London/New York: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  58. Jones, O. (2000). Purity, disorder, childhood and space. In S. Holloway & G. Valentine (Eds.), Children’s geographies (pp. 29–47). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. Karsten, L. (1998). Growing up in Amsterdam: Differentiation and segregation in children’s daily lives. Urban Studies, 35(3), 565–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Karsten, L. (2003). Children’s use of public space the gendered world of the playground. Childhood, 10(4), 457–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Karsten, L. (2005). It all used to be better? Different generations on continuity and change in urban children’s daily use of space. Children’s Geographies, 3(3), 275–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Karsten, L. (2015). Middle-class childhood and parenting culture in high-rise Hong Kong: On scheduled lives, the school trap and a new urban idyll. Children’s Geographies, 13(5), 556–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Katz, C. (2004). Growing up global: Economic restructuring and children’s everyday lives. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  64. Kearns, R., Carroll, P., Asiasiga, L., & Witten, K. (2016). Variegated nature of play for Auckland children: Banal landscapes and the promotion of well-being. In B. Evans, J. Horton, & T. Skelton (Eds.), Play and recreation, health and wellbeing (Springer major reference work: Geographies of children and young people, Vol. 9, pp. 1–19). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  65. Kelley, M. (2016). Unexpected encounters with nature in the city: Urban youth and the margins of public space in Tacoma, Washington. In A. M. F. Murnaghan & L. J. Shillington (Eds.), Children, nature, cities (pp. 133–149). New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  66. Kesby, M. (2007). Methodological insights on and from children’s geographies. Children’s Geographies, 5(3), 193–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Klein, M. (1929). Personification in the play of children. The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10, 193–200.Google Scholar
  68. Kraftl, P. (2013). Geographies of alternative education. Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Kyttä, M. (2004). The extent of children’s independent mobility and the number of actualized affordances as criteria for child-friendly environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(2), 179–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Lambert, J., & Pearson, J. (1974). Adventure playgrounds: A personal account of a play-leader’s work. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  71. Licitra, E. (2015). Play and learning in Benin. In B. Evans, J. Horton, & T. Skelton (Eds.), Play and recreation, health and wellbeing (Springer major reference work: Geographies of children and young people, Vol. 9, pp. 337–366). Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Loebach, J., & Gilliland, J. (2016). Neighbourhood play on the endangered list: Examining patterns in children’s local activity and mobility using GPS monitoring and qualitative GIS. Children’s geographies, 14(5), 573–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Malone, K., & Rudner, J. (2011). Global perspectives on children’s independent mobility: A socio-cultural comparison and theoretical discussion of children’s lives in four countries in Asia and Africa. Global Studies of Childhood, 1(3), 243–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. McKendrick, J. H. (1999). Introduction-playgrounds in the built environment. Built Environment, 25(1), 5–10.Google Scholar
  75. McKendrick, J. H. (2000). The geography of children: An annotated bibliography. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, 7(3), 359–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. McKendrick, J. H., Bradford, M. G., & Fielder, A. V. (2000). Kid customer? Commercialization of playspace and the commodification of childhood. Childhood, 7(3), 295–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Moore, R. C. (1986). Childhood’s domain: Play and place in child development. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  78. Moore, G. T., Cohen, U., Oertel, J., & van Ryzin, L. (1979). Designing environments for handicapped children. New York: Educational Facilities Laboratories.Google Scholar
  79. Murnaghan, A. M. F. (2013). Exploring race and nation in playground propaganda in early twentieth-century Toronto. International Journal of Play, 2(2), 134–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Murnaghan, A. M. F. (2016). Disciplining children in Toronto playgrounds in the early twentieth century. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 8(1), 111–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Murnaghan, A. M. F., & Shillington, L. (Eds.). (2016). Children, nature, cities. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  82. Nasaw, D. (1985). Children of the city: At work and at play. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  83. Opie, I. A., & Opie, P. (1969). Children’s games in street and playground. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  84. Pellegrini, A. D. (1987). Children on playgrounds: A review of “what’s out there”. Children’s Environments Quarterly, 4(4), 2–7.Google Scholar
  85. Peterson, J. A. (1976). The city beautiful movement: Forgotten origins and lost meanings. Journal of Urban History, 2(4), 415–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1956). The child’s conceptualization of space. Translated by F.J. Langdon and J.L. Lunzer. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.Google Scholar
  87. Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  88. Platt, A. M. (1977). The child savers: The invention of delinquency. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  89. Prout, A., & James, A. (1997). Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  90. Pyer, M. (2016). Young wheelchair users’ play and recreation. In B. Evans, J. Horton, & T. Skelton (Eds.), Play and recreation, health and wellbeing (Springer major reference work: Geographies of children and young people, Vol. 9, pp. 1–21). Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Rainwater, C. E. (1976 [1922]). The play movement in the United States: A study of community recreation. Washington: McGrath Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  92. Rees, A., Becker, B., Bryant, C., & Frazier, A. (2016). Shaping ourSpace: Children’s embodiment and engaging nature. In A. M. F. Murnaghan & L. J. Shillington (Eds.), Children, nature, cities (pp. 171–194). New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  93. Ross, D. (1972). G. Stanley hall: The psychologist as prophet. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  94. Shahar, S. (1990). Childhood in the middle ages. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  95. Skelton, T. (2009). Children’s geographies/geographies of children: Play, work, mobilities and migration. Geography Compass, 3(4), 1430–1448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Stephens, L., Spalding, K., Aslam, H., Scott, H., Ruddick, S., Young, N. L., & McKeever, P. (2017). Inaccessible childhoods: Evaluating accessibility in homes, schools and neighbourhoods with disabled children. Children’s Geographies, 15(5), 583–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Sutton-Smith, B. (2009). The ambiguity of play. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  98. Talbot, D. (2013). Early parenting and the urban experience: Risk, community, play and embodiment in an East London neighbourhood. Children’s Geographies, 11(2), 230–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Tandy, C. A. (1999). Children’s diminishing play space: A study of Inter-generational change in children’s use of their neighbourhoods. Australian Geographical Studies, 37(2), 154–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Tezel, E. (2011). Exploring parental concerns about children’s interactions in gated communities: A case study in Istanbul. Children’s Geographies, 9(3-4), 425–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Thomas, M. E. (2011). Multicultural girlhood: Racism, sexuality, and the conflicted spaces of American education. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  102. Thomson, S. (2005). ‘Territorialising’ the primary school playground: Deconstructing the geography of playtime. Children’s Geographies, 3(1), 63–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Thomson, J. L., & Philo, C. (2004). Playful spaces? A social geography of children’s play in Livingston, Scotland. Children’s Geographies, 2(1), 111–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Thorne, B. (1993). Gender play: Girls and boys in school. Camden: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  105. Tranter, P. (2016). Children’s play in their local neighborhoods: Rediscovering the value of residential streets. In B. Evans, J. Horton, & T. Skelton (Eds.), Play and recreation, health and wellbeing (Springer major reference work: Geographies of children and young people, Vol. 9, pp. 211–236). Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Tranter, P. J., & Malone, K. (2004). Geographies of environmental learning: An exploration of children’s use of school grounds. Children’s Geographies, 2(1), 131–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Tuan, Y. F. (1978). Children and the natural environment. In I. Altman & J. F. Wohlwill (Eds.), Children and the environment (pp. 5–32). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Valentine, G., & McKendrick, J. (1997). Children’s outdoor play: Exploring parental concerns about children’s safety and the changing nature of childhood. Geoforum, 28(2), 219–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Veitch, J., Salmon, J., & Ball, K. (2007). Children’s perceptions of the use of public open spaces for active free-play. Children’s Geographies, 5(4), 409–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Verbrugge, M. H. (2015). Exercising civil rights: Public recreation and racial segregation in Washington, DC 1900–1940. In C. Elzey & D. K. Wiggins (Eds.), DC sports: The nation’s capital at play (pp. 105–128). Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Ward, C. (1978). The child in the city. New York: Pantheon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. Wassong, S. (2005). The failure of US playground politics in child and youth welfare. Stadion, 31(2), 259–271.Google Scholar
  113. Wassong, S. (2008). The German influence on the development of the US playground movement. Sport in History, 28(2), 313–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  114. Whyte, W. H. (1980). The social life of small urban spaces. New York: Project for Public Spaces.Google Scholar
  115. Winnicott, D. W. (1968). Playing; its theoretical status in the clinical situation. The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 49, 591–599.Google Scholar
  116. Winnicott, D. W. (1971). Playing and reality. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  117. Woodyer, T. (2008). The body as research tool: Embodied practice and children’s geographies. Children’s Geographies, 6(4), 349–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Woodyer, T. (2012). Ludic geographies: Not merely child’s play. Geography Compass, 6(6), 313–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. Woodyer, T., Martin, D., & Carter, S. (2016). Ludic Geographies. In B. Evans, J. Horton, & T. Skelton (Eds.), Play and recreation, health and wellbeing (Springer major reference work: Geographies of children and young people, Vol. 9, pp. 17–33). Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. Woolley, H. (2008). Watch this space! Designing for children’s play in public open spaces. Geography Compass, 2(2), 495–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  121. Worth, N., Dwyer, C., & Skelton, T. (Eds.). (2017). Identities and subjectivities (Springer major reference work: Geographies of children and young people, Vol. 4). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  122. Wridt, P. J. (2004). An historical analysis of young people’s use of public space, parks and playgrounds in New York City. Children Youth and Environments, 14(1), 86–106.Google Scholar
  123. Yantzi, N. M., Young, N. L., & Mckeever, P. (2010). The suitability of school playgrounds for physically disabled children. Children’s Geographies, 8(1), 65–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  124. Young, T. (2004). Building San Francisco’s Parks, 1850–1930. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations