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professional coaches on the field. Cricket has many good points, but as it often takes several days to play a game it is doubtful if it is well suited to the American temperament or will ever recome popular here. These games have great value in the training of character and social graces. The training which these boys get from their play is probably almost as valuable as that which they get from their studies.
The characteristic thing about the sports at the English universities is that nearly everyone plays, and generally devotes most of his afternoon to sport. An English gentleman would feel almost as much insulted if he were asked if he played cricket as he would if he were asked if he could read and write.
Characteristic of the English system is compulsory athletics and the common participation of the teachers in the games of the pupils. This gives a very great opportunity for character training through the personal influence of the teacher and puts the teacher and scholar in the most intimate and kindly relation with each other.
Playgrounds of Scotland.—The first municipal playgrounds of the world, in the modern sense, were probably those of Glasgow. This very progressive city now has twelve or fifteen such playgrounds, equipped with swings, seesaws, maypoles, and some gymnastic apparatus. There is a care taker or janitor in charge. The writer understood that there were also some school playgrounds open and in charge of the teachers this summer. He saw the grounds open and full of children, but never any teachers in charge.
Scotland is the home of golf and curling, and just now the old game of bowls is very popular.
Playgrounds of America. If one were to compare the playgrounds of America with those of England he would notice in America the absence of the corporation playground for adults, which is apt to be a feature of English towns. In the American high schools and universities noticeable differences from the English are the comparative absence of the professional coach and the greater specialization in sport. Everyone plays in the English school. In the American not one-tenth of the students are members of any regular team. Those who do play are compelled to give so much time and training to it that it becomes more like work than play. The country and village schools of America are very poorly provided with playgrounds, and the importance of play is not generally realized. It is a very grave consideration that we as a people have no healthy, vigorous game in which all take part, such as the English have in football and cricket, for, if we are to get shorter hours of labor and more half holidays, what are our people going to do with their leisure? If more leisure is to mean more beer and debauchery, we had better not have the leisure.
THE NEEDS OF OUR AMERICAN CITIES.
When one sees the plans of our cities of forty years ago it is quite evident that play had not been considered. Although the play of children is as natural as the songs of birds, our Puritan ancestors regarded it almost as a sin. Life was to them altogether too serious a thing to be frittered away on activities which seemed to bring no return. So, too, there was not then the same need there is now. In early years, when industries were less specialized, there was also much work for the children to do, which furnished an outlet for the motor impulses of childhood. This, to be sure, was not the same as play. Noother activity has the same power to awaken and stimulate the intelligence and emotional life of the child that play has. Still it did give an opportunity for effort and was some relief for overcharged nerve cells. As time went on and the father ceased to be an independent owner and producer, the activities of the children disappeared and the city children were left without
work. The growth of these cities had left them without playgrounds, and now in vacation time there was nothing for them to do but mischief.
There is to-day an effort to replan our cities so as to make provision for play. The playgrounds are at present absurdly inadequate, but the movement is so vigorops that we may hope for much improvement in the near future. In order to secure sufficient play space for the children somewhere, from every fifth to every fifteenth block should be left vacant, according to the density of the population. If there were a playground in every fifth block in lower New York there would still be more than a thousand children for each acre of playground. Some time, perhaps, we shall have a law setting a minimum playground space for each child which no city would be allowed to disregard. The provision can not be adequate until playgrounds are located in each ward as regularly as the schools. This minimum limit should not be less than 1 acre to every 5,000 children, ană 1 acre to every thousand children would scarcely be adequate. This must, I think, be obvious to all. Yet, when we consider actual conditions, we find that in some of our cities there has not been an acre of playground to a hundred thousand children. In the lower east side of New York there have been more than 200,000 children with no playground but the streets.
The small cities and villages have been quite as remiss as the larger cities. In very few indeed has there been a regular playgroand belonging to the corporation. The need of the small cities is not so great, but neither would the expense of providing playgrounds be comparable with the cost in a great city where land is sometimes worth nearly a million dollars an acre. However, as the public comes to realize more fully this need, the extra expense would be largely met by the increase in value of real estate due to greater opportunities given the children and the increased light and air received by surrounding buildings.
We may not expect the realization of these conditions at once, but the growing appreciation of the value of play and its function in the development of the race is sure to bear fruit in the action of municipalities and in the gifts of the philanthropic. New York now sets aside $300,000 a year for purchasing sites for playgrounds. It would probably cost $100,000,000 to purchase the ground to furnish the 600,000 children in New York with the four or five hundreds of acres for playgrounds which they need. At this rate it would take New York some three hundred years to provide herself with playgrounds, supposing the population not to increase and the land values to remain permanent. However, the securing of this $300,000 was a great victory for New York and we may hope that it is seed sown in good soil. In the solution of this playground problem lies very largely the solution of one of the great problems of city life, that of providing decent conditions for the young. The providing of better conditions for the children would tend also to increase the size of families among the more intelligent classes-a consummation greatly to be wished. • All students of play are agreed in dividing the play life of the child into three periods, the first period, from birth to 5 or 6 years of age, being given mostly to imitation and dramatic plays; the second period, from 5 or 6 to 12 or 13, being given largely to competitive games, such as “I spy," etc.; and the third period, from 12 or 13 on being given to cooperative games, such as baseball, and so on. This threefold play life requires a similar provision in playgrounds.
In the houses of the well to do, the child under 5 may play in the play room or nursery. In the country and suburban districts they may play in the yards of the houses, but in the crowded tenements of the city's poor there is no place for play. These children can not go far from home with safety. They are never safe by themselves on the streets. If they are to have a safe playground it must be in the center of the block. Several such blocks with interior playgrounds, with a kindergartner in charge, have already been built by model-dwelling associations
of one kind or another. The chief difficulty seems to be the providing for the clotheslines which at present make the interior of most crowded blocks so ugly. This difficulty has been met in four different ways: By providing facilities for drying clothes on the roof, by putting reels on the back porches, by furnishing a laundry room and drier in the basement, and by building a separate laundry for each block. If this can be done and interior tenements, factories, and stables, along with partition fences are banished, the interior of each block might well contain a small park, a playground, and, in the quarters of the very poor, perhaps a day nursery. In this way even the poorest might have something of beauty and nature near them and at least one spot in their environment that did not suggest the bitter struggle for subsistence. It would give a common ground for neighbors to meet, such as their narrow quarters do not furnish, and would give a safe place for the children to play.
The block playground already spoken of will provide for the children from 5 to 13. For the older children athletic fields are necessary. Our large cities are doing much to supply this need at present.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE.
For many years our American cities have made some provision for play. The municipal playground as now understood has been the outgrowth of the last few years, but the park playground or athletic field is much older. Washington Park, Chicago, which was opened in 1876, contained 60 acres of baseball, football, and tennis fields. Lincoln Park has 10 acres of ball field and 3 acres of tennis.
In Philadelphia there are 50 acres of playground in the east park and 60 acres in the west park. The parade grounds in Brooklyn contain 40 acres, which are used as a baseball field. Boston has nearly 200 acres of such playgrounds. There are a great many smaller playgrounds in the smaller parks of these and other cities, but these are all playgrounds for men or large boys. A license is generally necessary in order to play in them, or, if not, they are apt to be so crowded as to make play very difficult and often dangerous. The play is not directed.
MUNICIPAL PLAYGROUNDS. Municipal playgrounds, as they are coming to be understood, are quite different from these athletic fields in the parks. These playgrounds are intended for children under 15 and are often parks by themselves. They are usually surrounded by a separate fence and contain gymnastic apparatus, swings, sand, etc. In each of the new playgrounds in New York, which were opened in seven of the small parks in 1903, there are gymnasts and kindergartners in charge. While the play does not receive the close supervision and direction that it does in the school playgrounds, it is still in a measure directed play. Chicago has had five or six such grounds and ten new ones were to be opened this summer. Sey. eral of our smaller cities have one or more. They are sometimes called model playgrounds, but this name, I judge, must soon cease to be used. In the general plan each of these playgrounds is surrounded by a running track. It contains a good outdoor gymnasium, a basket-ball court, swings, seesaws, and some open space for general play. Sometimes it contains a bath house. The playgrounds for girls and boys are separate.
Probably the man who has been most influential in securing playgrounds for New York is Jacob Riis. Mr. Riis, as a police reporter, saw the conditions as they existed and stirred up the people to sympathize with the children. In Mayor Hewitt's administration in 1887, a law was passed that allowed New York to spend $1,000,000 a year in acquiring small parks, with the understanding that there was to be a playground in each park. However, nothing was done until 1895, when a law was passed providing for the purchase of the sites for two small parks within three years. These sites having been purchased and the houses demolished the grounds were left a heap of unsightly ruins interspersed with the half-filled cellars of the former houses. Nothing further was done until 1899, when permission was given to the Outdoor Recreation League to level off this ground and improve it for a playground. This league has been of great service in securing playgrounds for the city. It.was founded largely through the efforts of Mr. Zanoff, who came to New York in 1898, after starting the work in Philadelphia, but Mr. (Charles B. Stover was elected its first president, a position which he has held ever since. The league is a group of earnest and public-spirited men and women, consisting largely of social workers. Mr. Stover has been quite unwearied in raising money and in seeing city officials to secure the needed legislation to carry on this work. The league has raised several thousand dollars each year to equip and maintain its playgrounds at Hudson Bank and Seward Park. Mr. Stover is now supervising the laying out of the playgrounds for Park Commissioner Willcox, who is d ing so much to provide facilities for play to the New York children.
The new municipal playground in Seward Park is a triumph for Mr. Stovir and Mr. Willcox. It is probably the best municipal playground in the world. There is a playground for girls and one for boys. Each is surrounded with a strong iron fence and well supplied with apparatus. The girls' playground contains swings for older children and swings for babies, sand bins, a kindergarten tent, etc. It is to be shaded by trees. Thrce teachers are in charge. The boys' playground contains a running track, a large outdoor gyınnasium, a basket-ball court, permanently laid ont, and May poles. A large public łath house with sore 2,000 lockers stands just outside. Band concerts are given every Friday evening, and the plan is that athletic contests shall be held there every Saturday afternoon. There is room for some 7,000 spectators around the boys' playground. The entire park contains about 3 acres and has cost the city $2,500,000. There are two or three thousands of children on the ground most of the time when school is not in session. At 7 o'clock there are probably six or seven thousand children present. This park has already become one of the greatest civic and social centers in the city. Mr. Stover says it is to be the forum of the East Side--and it seems quite likely, for the loggia of the bath house will furnish a good platform for a public speaker, who never need lack for an audience in this locality. A new public school, some six or seven stories in height, containing seats for 4,500 children, is to be built at the north of this park. Perhaps a municipal court will be erected at the northeast and probably a Carnegie library on the east. The Educational Alliance, with its thousands of constituents, already stands on the southeast corner; so the park is sure to be nearly surrounded by public buildings. Such will probably be the result in the case of the other small park playgrounds. They are sure to become civic and social centers. When we consider that the most of these thousands of children who are in the playground would be on the streets if they were not there and that hundreds of these young men would otherwise be in the saloons, it is evident what a great influence for good such a playground may be in the community,
THE SCHWAB PLAYGROUND.
The most ambitious attempt that has ever been made by a private individual to provide playgrounds for children is the playground at Richmond Park, Staten Island. Mr. Schwab, the former president of the United States Steel Corporation, himself without children, has resolved to give the children of New York a good time. To this end he purchased 65 acres of land on one of the Staten Island beaches, and has had hundreds of men at work leveling off grounds, filling in depressions, building bath houses, and, in general, fitting the spot for a great playground. In order to get the children there, Mr. Schwab has built a steel vessel, called the Happy Day, which has the capacity to carry 3,000 children, though only 1,000 are to be carried. In this way the children of each of the schools and playgrounds of the city, and, finally, the settlement and mission children, are to be taken out on picnics for the day. They will be carried to the beach, where they will be supplied with bathing suits, furnished with an equipment for every kind of a game, and given rides on swings, seesaws, and
merry-go-ronnds. At noon they will be provided with a free dinner.
At the back of the playground there is a model farm, into the mysteries of which the children are to be initiated. In the afternoon they will be taken back to the city, all without any expense to themselves. Mr. Schwab calculates the cost to himself of maintaining this playground at $1,000 a day or $1 per child. This will mean an expenditure of about $100,000 a summer, or 5 per cent interest, on $2,000,000. When this is added to the original cost of the land, the cost of grading, erecting buildings, and the ship, etc., it will mean an outlay of not much less than $4,000,000 to Mr. Schwab. This playground was to have been in operation this summer, but the construction strike tied up the work at the grounds and on the ship, so this was impossible.
The movements for school playground have been so intimately connected with the movement for vacation schools that the one account might almost serve for both. Certain Boston ladies visiting in Germany were impressed with the value of the sand gardens of Berlin. Their account of the work there led to ihe establishment of a sand garden in connection with the Children's Mission on Parmeter street, Boston. This first sand garden was started in 1886. From this simple beginning has grown the present movement, which is now so far-reaching in its influence and activities. The work was soon taken up in other cities. Generally the playground consisted of a corner of the school yard. The equipment was a load of sand. A kindergartner contributed her services and only small children were admitted. There were also playgrounds that were carried on by philanthropists or by philanthropic societies. The playgrounds and vacation schools have always been under the same management.
In speaking of the educational playground of to-day as a playground we are giving the word a very wide significance. In the first place there is no ground in the playgrounds of the New York schools at least, and too often there is very little play. The playground includes a library in most cities, and there is also more or less industrial work. There are regular classes and drills in gymnastics, the same as there would be in a gymnasium. In speaking of the work in the playgrounds I shall speak mostly of New York, because the problem of New York is greater than that of any other American city, and the work is correspondingly more varied and extensive.
Varieties of school playgrounds. School yards.- There have been six sorts of playgrounds so called in the New York system. One of these is the school playground proper. It consists almost entirely of the basement of the school building itself. Many of these schools have playgrounds on the roof also, but as these are not covered they have been too hot to use during the day. According to the new law every school building in New York must have a playground, and if an exterior playground can not be provided, a roof playground must be furnished. The cost of land is so great in the crowded parts of New York that the cost of the site is generally much more than the cost of the building, although the buildings themselves are magnificent. Under the circumstances perhaps the city could not be expected to incur the additional expense of securing external playgrounds, unless they be made several