When we think about kids having fun and playing playground equipment usually come to mind. They seem to be accessible to us everywhere. They are at the park, in schools, in day cares, at malls and in several family communities. Playgrounds weren’t always around though. During in the 19th century kids didn’t have playgrounds that they could go play on. They relied on meeting up in the streets to play games with other children. This was of course dangerous for the kids and people driving on the roads. So people tried to think of solutions for this children to keep them safe yet still let them play. The sand gardens were invented in Germany in 1885 to keep children off the streets and then the U.S. started using them in 1886. Sand gardens were a lot like the sand boxes we see today.

During the beginning of the 20th century, the Playground Association of America was created so that they could establish playgrounds in communities and any other areas that children were involved in. This association wanted to allow children to be safe, socialize and be active. These playgrounds are not like the playgrounds we know now. They had more independent play areas like merry go rounds, swings or tall beams with ropes so that kids can hold on to and swing on. Needless to say, they were not the most safe things to play on but it was a start.

Playgrounds were also monitored very closely. They are not like how playground equipment is now where children are free to play however they choose. There were instructors that taught children lessons on how to play properly. Many companies hopped on the playground ban wagon and began manufacturing play apparatuses. They used a lot of ladders, steel pipes and chains; things that are no longer apart of our playgrounds due to accidents and injuries.

Later on playground equipment started to change. They became more adventurous and children were given the opportunity to explore. These playgrounds had less supervision. Then playgrounds started taking the form of objects children were familiar with; such as animals, rocket ships, etc. They were still made out of metal which was dangerous to play on. During the 1970s, playgrounds became safer due to all the other injuries that occurred with the other playgrounds. These playgrounds had hard plastic equipment instead of fully metal and had more rounded edges.

In the 1980s, the playgrounds started to become more imaginative by incorporating themes and bright colors while still keeping the safety standards. These are the playgrounds we use today. Playgrounds have came a long way since they were invented and I am sure there is still more to do. There are been great inventions in playgrounds where the able bodied and the handicap can play alongside together. It is amazing what all we have accomplished with playgrounds.