History of playgrounds

The History of Playgrounds & How They Have Changed

Providing kids with playgrounds is a great way to keep them mentally and physically active. So if you’re looking into buying commercial playground equipment, you’re headed in the right direction. But what is the history of playgrounds? Where did the idea of playgrounds originate? Before you go looking at playground equipment, playground flooring, or commercial playground swings in Texas, let’s take a closer look at how playgrounds have changed over time.

The history of playgrounds began in Germany as a way to teach children correct ways to play with one another. In 1885, “sand gardens” were the first playground-like areas in Germany. But the first actual playground was built in 1859 in England, with the first U.S. playground not showing up in Boston until 1886. So playgrounds had a slow start, to say the least.

But as industrialization continued, people looked to playgrounds as a way to get outside and interact with each other. Kids could finally have a place to escape cramped living areas and get outside, be active, and just play like kids.

The Playground Association of America (PAA) was formed in 1906. This organization was developed to help encourage playground installation. They worked with communities on understanding the benefits outdoor playground equipment could offer and how to go about designing and constructing the playground itself. In the beginning stages of playgrounds growing popularity, there were strict rules that had to be followed, like having separate sections for boys and girls to play in. The PAA was later rolled up into the National Recreation and Park Association in 1965 when five national parks and recreation agencies merged.

Fortunately, in the 1900s playground design and structure became more free-form. People even got specially trained to help children organize their play and incorporate lessons and activities into their play time.

And now, playground equipment can be found everywhere throughout the United States. The city of Chicago has more than 300 playgrounds alone! But there are still rules commercial playgrounds have to follow, like not having sharp edges and having properly-sized gaps between equipment. These regulations allow kids to play in a safe environment and reduce the risk of injuries.

Schools, daycares, churches, and other public institutions often provide playgrounds for their children. Playgrounds can be immensely beneficial to children’s’ health, mental development, and social skills (check out our Outdoor Play and Brain Development blog for more on this). Without access to playgrounds, children may not be as healthy and happy as they are. So if you’re looking for commercial playground equipment in Texas, make sure to invest in high-quality equipment for the kids to enjoy. Contact us today for a free quote!

Josh Bartlett

I have been in or around the playground industry most of my life starting at age 6 when my father started building back yard playgrounds. As I got older I developed an enormous passion for construction and business. In 2009 I along with my father and mother decided to give our full attention to designing and building commercial playgrounds. In just over 10 years we have gone from a small mom and pop company to a bustling small business that has the pleasure of designing and building custom play areas in locations around the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *