Throwback Thursday – Sand Gardens

Ever wonder how the modern American playground originated? We stumbled upon this revealing Boston Globe article detailing the history of playgrounds in Boston. At the end of the 19th century, open space in Boston was hard to come by. In 1885, the country’s first “sand garden” was introduced to the City of Boston- what we now refer to as a sand box.

By 1886 there were three of them in the city, by 1887 there were ten. And in 1889 an “outdoor gymnasium” opened in the West End, including 10-acres of swings, see-saws, and sand. In his 1897 inaugural address, Mayor Quincy proposed that every ward in Boston should have a playground, igniting the “playground movement”. By 1906, the Playground Association of America had held its first meeting.

The sandbox may now seem a bit outdated, as playgrounds have evolved to include more inclusive play elements. Boston’s commitment to safe and available play has persisted well into the 21st century, with the focus on inclusivity improving with each passing decade.

Read the full article here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/03/28/how-american-playground-was-born-boston/5i2XrMCjCkuu5521uxleEL/story.html

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