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A history of playspaces

Pascoe, C ORCID: 0000-0002-6517-5034 2017 , 'A history of playspaces', in K Masiulanis and E Cummins (eds.), How to Grow a Playspace: Development and Design , Routledge, London, UK, pp. 13-20.

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Children’s play has existed across every human culture and time period. 1 However, the history of play spaces specially designed for children is relatively short. The idea that children need separate places for their games is a modern notion, virtually unknown before the nineteenth century. Archaeologists struggle to recreate a detailed sense of children’s lives in the pre-written past. 2, 3 Where traces of ancient children’s history have been uncovered – such as objects presumed to be toys – there has been no corresponding evidence that children’s play was restricted to certain areas. 4 Visual evidence from the medieval period in Europe reinforces this sense that children played anywhere and everywhere. 5 Anthropological studies from non-urbanised communities and pre-twentieth-century societies record the omnipresence of children’s play. These children appropriated their own play spaces that were informal, fluid and seasonal, like the nineteenth-century New Zealand youth studied by Brian Sutton-Smith. 6

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Pascoe, C
Keywords: history, childhood, children, play, playground
Publisher: Routledge
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2017 Routledge

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