By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: A Catalogue of Play Equipment
Author: Hunt, Jean Lee
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Catalogue of Play Equipment" ***

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)

Transcriber's note:
For the benefit of certain readers, explanatory names have been added to
some illustration tags and these have been identified with an asterisk.

_Bulletin Number Eight Price Thirty-five Cents_


_Compiled by_



[Illustration: Wooden wheel-barrow and cabinet.]*

[Illustration: Children at play.]*


What are the requisites of a child's laboratory? What essentials must
we provide if we would deliberately plan an environment to promote the
developmental possibilities of play?

These questions are raised with ever-increasing insistence as the true
nature of children's play and its educational significance come to be
matters of more general knowledge and the selection of play equipment
assumes a corresponding importance in the school and at home.

To indicate some fundamental rules for the choice of furnishings and
toys and to show a variety of materials illustrating the basis of
selection has been our aim in compiling the following brief catalogue.
We do not assume the list to be complete, nor has it been the
intention to recommend any make or pattern as being indispensable or
as having an exclusive right to the field. On the contrary, it is our
chief hope that the available number and variety of such materials may
be increased to meet a corresponding increase of intelligent demand on
the part of parents and teachers for equipment having real dignity and
play value.

The materials listed were originally assembled in the Exhibit of Toys
and School Equipment shown by the Bureau of Educational Experiments in
the Spring and Summer of 1917, and we wish to make acknowledgment,
therefore, to the many who contributed to that exhibit and by so doing
to the substance of the following pages. Chief among them are Teachers
College, The University of Pittsburgh, The Ethical Culture School, The
Play School and other experimental schools described in our bulletins,
numbers 3, 4 and 5.

The cuts have been chosen for the most part from photographs of the
Play School, where conditions fairly approximate those obtainable in
the home and thus offer suggestions easily translatable by parents
into terms of their own home environment.

While this equipment is especially applicable to the needs of children
four, five and six years old, most of it will be found well adapted to
the interests of children as old as eight years, and some of it to
those of younger children as well.


New York City, June, 1918.

[Illustration: Children at play.]*


Out-of-door Furnishings should be of a kind to encourage creative play
as well as to give exercise.

Playground apparatus, therefore, in addition to providing for big
muscle development should combine the following requisites:

  Intrinsic value as a toy or plaything. "The play of children on it
  and with it must be spontaneous."[A]

  Adaptability to different kinds of play and exercise. "It must
  appeal to the imagination of the child so strongly that new forms of
  use must be constantly found by the child himself in using it."[A]

  Adaptability to individual or group use. It should lend itself to
  solitary play or to use by several players at once.

Additional requisites are:

  Safety. Its use should be attended by a minimum of danger. Suitable
  design, proper proportions, sound materials and careful construction
  are essentials.

  Durability. It must be made to withstand hard use and all kinds of
  weather. To demand a minimum of repair means also to afford a
  maximum of security.

[Footnote A: Dr. E. H. Arnold, "Some Inexpensive Playground
Apparatus." Bul. 27, Playground Association of America.]

[Illustration: The city yard equipped to give a maximum of exercise
and creative play]

[Illustration: An outdoor play area.]*


In the country, ready-to-hand resources, trees for climbing, the
five-barred fence, the pasture gate, the stone wall, the wood-pile,
Mother Earth to dig in, furnish ideal equipment for the muscle
development of little people and of their own nature afford the
essential requisites for creative and dramatic play. To their
surpassing fitness for "laboratory" purposes each new generation bears
testimony. If the furnishings of a deliberately planned environment
are to compare with them at all they must lend themselves to the same
freedom of treatment.

The apparatus shown here was made by a local carpenter, and could
easily be constructed by high school pupils with the assistance of the
manual training teacher.

The ground has been covered With a layer of fine screened gravel, a
particularly satisfactory treatment for very little children, as it is
relatively clean and dries quickly after rain. It does not lend itself
to the requirements of organized games, however, and so will not
answer for children who have reached that stage of play development.

A number of building bricks, wooden boxes of various sizes, pieces of
board and such "odd lumber" with a few tools and out-of-door toys
complete the yard's equipment.

[Illustration: THE SEE-SAW.]*


BOARD--Straight grain lumber, 1-1/8" x 9" x 12'-0".

  Two cleats 1-1/4" x 9" bolted to the under side of the board to act
  as a socket on the hip of the horse.

HORSE--Height 25". Length 22-1/2". Spread of feet at ground 20". Legs
built of 2" x 3" material. Hip of 2" x 3" material. Brace under hip of
7/8" material.

NOTE--All figures given are for outside measurements. Apparatus except
see-saw board and sliding board should be painted, especially those
parts which are to be put into the ground.

[Illustration: THE STAND AND SLIDE.]*


STAND OR PLATFORM--26" wide, 30" long, 5'-4" high.

  Top made of 1-3/8" tongue and groove material.

  Uprights or legs of 2" x 3" material.

  Cleats nailed to front legs 6-1/4" apart to form ladder are of
  1-1/8" x 1-3/4" material.

  Cross bracing of 7/8" x 2-1/4" material.

  Apron under top made of 7/8" x 5" material nailed about 1-1/8" below
  to act as additional bracing and provide place of attachment for
  iron hooks secured to sliding board.

  The stand is fastened to the ground by dogs or pieces of wood buried
  deep enough (about 3') to make it secure.

SLIDE--Straight grain piece of lumber, 1-1/8" x 12" x 12'-0".

  Two hooks at upper end of sliding board are of iron, about 3/8" x
  1-1/2", set at a proper angle to prevent board from becoming loose.
  Hooks are about 1-1/4" long.

[Illustration: THE SWINGING ROPE.]*


UPRIGHT--3" x 3" x 6'-9".

TOP PIECE--3" x 3" x 2'-9".

  Upright and top piece are mortised or halved and bolted together.

  Bracing at top (3" x 3" x 20-1/2" at long point of mitre cuts) is
  nailed to top piece and upright at an angle of about 45 degrees.

  Upright rests on a base measuring 3'-0". This is mortised together
  and braced with 2" x 3" material about 20" long, set at an angle of
  about 60 degrees.

  Unless there are facilities for bracing at the top, as shown in the
  cut, the upright should be made longer and buried about 3' in the

  The swinging rope (3/4" dia.) passes through a hole bored in the top
  piece and held in place by a knot. Successive knots tied 8" to 9"
  apart and a big knot at the bottom make swinging easier for little

[Illustration: THE TRAPEZE.]*


TWO UPRIGHTS--3" x 3" x 6'-10".

TOP PIECE--3" x 3" x 2'-10".

  Ends of top piece secured to uprights by being mortised or halved
  and bolted together.

  Uprights rest on bases of 2" x 3" material, 3'-7" long, connected by
  a small platform in the form of an H.

  Bases and uprights are bolted to dogs or pieces of wood 2" x 4" x
  5'-8" set in the ground about 3'-0".

  Adjustable bar (round) 1-3/8" dia.

  3 holes bored in each upright provide for the adjustable bar. The
  first hole is 3'-0" above ground, the second 3'-5", the third

  Swing bar (round), 1-3/8" dia., is 20" long. Should hang about 16"
  below top piece.

  2 holes 5/8" dia. bored in the top piece receive a continuous rope
  attached to the swing bar by being knotted after passing through
  holes (5/8" dia.) in each end of the bar.

[Illustration: THE LADDER AND SUPPORT.]*


LADDER--14" x 10'-2"

  Sides of 1-1/2" x 1/2" material

  Rungs 1/4" dia. set 10-1/4" apart

  At upper ends of the sides a u-shaped cut acts as a hook for
  attaching the ladder to the cross bar of the support. These ends are
  re-inforced with iron to prevent splitting.

SUPPORT--Height 4'-6". Spread of uprights at base 4'-2".

  Uprights of 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" material are secured to a foot (1-1/2" x
  4" x 20-1/2") with braces (11-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 12") set at an angle
  of about 60┬░.

  Tops of the two uprights are halved and bolted to a cross bar 1-1/8"
  x 2-1/2" x 10" long.

  The uprights are secured with diagonal braces 1-3/8" x 3-1/2" x
  3'-9" fastened together where they intersect.

[Illustration: A pretend airship.]*

A borrowed step ladder converts this gymnastic apparatus into an

[Illustration: A borrowed ladder helps the game.]*

The ladder detached from the support is an invaluable adjunct to
building and other operations.

[Illustration: The Parallel Bars.]*


The two bars are 2" x 2-1/4" X 6'-10" and are set 16-1/2" to 18-1/2"
apart. The ends are beveled and the tops rounded.

Each bar is nailed to two uprights (2" X 3" X 5'-0") set 5' apart and
extending 34" above ground. An overhang of about 6" is allowed at each
end of the bar.

[Illustration: The sand box.]*


The sloping cover to the sand box pictured here has been found to have
many uses besides its obvious purpose of protection against stray
animals and dirt. It is a fairly good substitute for the old-time
cellar door, that most important dramatic property of a play era past
or rapidly passing.

[Illustration: Sand box with cover closed.]*

[Illustration: Box village.]*


The child is to be pitied who has not at some time revelled in a
packing-box house big enough to get into and furnished by his own
efforts. But a "village" of such houses offers a greatly enlarged
field of play opportunity and has been the basis of Miss Mary Rankin's
experiment on the Teachers College Playground.[B]

In addition to its more obvious possibilities for constructive and
manual development, Miss Rankin's experiment offers social features
of unusual suggestiveness, for the village provides a civic experience
fairly comprehensive and free from the artificiality that is apt to
characterize attempts to introduce civic content into school and play

[Footnote B: See "Teachers College Playground," Bulletin No. 4, Bureau
of Educational Experiments.]

[Illustration: Of interest to carpenters.]

[Illustration: A boom in real estate.]

[Illustration: Boy playing pretend piano.]*


The requisites for indoor equipment are these:

  A Suitable Floor--The natural place for a little child to play is
  the floor and it is therefore the sine qua non of the play

  Places to Keep Things--A maximum of convenience to facilitate habits
  of order.

  Tables and Chairs--For use as occasion demands, to supplement the
  floor, not to take the place of it.

  Blocks and Toys--For initial play material.

  The Carpenter's Bench--With tools and lumber for the manufacture of
  supplementary toys.

  A supply of Art and Craft materials--For the same purpose.

[Illustration: The Indoor Laboratory.]


The _floor_ should receive first consideration in planning the indoor
laboratory. It should be as spacious as circumstances will permit and
safe, that is to say clean and protected from draughts and dampness.

A well-kept hardwood floor is the best that can be provided.
Individual light rugs or felt mats can be used for the younger
children to sit on in cold weather if any doubt exists as to the
adequacy of heating facilities (see cut, p. 32).

Battleship linoleum makes a good substitute for a hardwood finish. It
comes in solid colors and can be kept immaculate.

Deck canvas stretched over a layer of carpet felt and painted makes a
warm covering, especially well adapted to the needs of very little
children, as it has some of the softness of a carpet and yet can be
scrubbed and mopped.

Second only in importance is the supply of _lockers_, _shelves_,
_boxes_ and _drawers_ for the disposal of the great number and variety
of small articles that make up the "tools and appliances" of the
laboratory. The cut on page 24 shows a particularly successful
arrangement for facilities of this kind.

The _chairs_ shown are the Mosher kindergarten chairs, which come in
three sizes. The light _tables_ can be folded by the children and put
away in the biggest cupboard space (p. 24).

_Block boxes_ are an essential part of the equipment. Their dimensions
should be planned in relation to the unit block of the set used. Those
shown are 13-3/4" X 16-1/2" X 44" (inside measurements) for use with a
set having a unit 1-3/8" X 2-3/4" X 5-1/2". They are on castors and
can be rolled to any part of the room.

The low _blackboards_ are 5'-5" in height and 2'-0" from the floor.

All the furnishings of the laboratory should lend themselves to use as
dramatic properties when occasion demands, and a few may be kept for
such purposes alone. The light screens in the right-hand corner of the
room are properties of this kind and are put to an endless number of
uses (see cut, p. 40).

[Illustration: The balcony in a room with high ceiling.]

[Illustration: The balcony and a low ceiling.]

The _balcony_ is a device to increase floor space that has been used
successfully in The Play School for several years. It is very popular
with the children and contributes effectively to many play schemes.
The tall block construction representing an elevator shaft shown in
the picture opposite would never have reached its "Singer Tower
proportions" without the balcony, first to suggest the project and
then to aid in its execution.

_Drop shelves_ like those along the wall of the "gallery" (p. 22) can
be used for some purposes instead of tables when space is limited.

Materials for storekeeping play fill the shelves next the fireplace,
and the big crock on the hearth contains modelling clay, the raw
material of such objets d'art as may be seen decorating the
mantlepiece in the cut on page 20.

[Illustration: A place for everything]

[Illustration: The indoor sandbox.]*


The indoor _Sand Box_ pictured here was designed by Mrs. Hutchinson
for use in the nursery at Stony Ford. A box of this kind is ideal for
the enclosed porch or terrace and a great resource in rainy weather.

The usual kindergarten sand table cannot provide the same play
opportunity that is afforded by a floor box, but it presents fewer
problems to the housekeeper and is always a valuable adjunct to indoor

[Illustration: The Carpenter Bench.]*


The carpenter equipment must be a "sure-enough business affair," and
the tools real tools--not toys.

The Sheldon bench shown here is a real bench in every particular
except size. The tool list is as follows:

    Manual training hammer.
    18 point cross-cut saw.
    9 point rip saw.
    Large screw driver, wooden handle.
    Small screw driver.
    Nail puller.
    Stanley smooth-plane, No. 3.
    Bench hook.
    Brace and set of twist bits.
    Manual training rule.
    Steel rule.
    Tri square.
    Utility box--with assorted nails, screws, etc.
    Combination India oil stone.
    Oil can.
    Small hatchet.

Choice of lumber must be determined partly by the viewpoint of the
adult concerned, largely by the laboratory budget, and finally by the
supply locally available. Excellent results have sometimes been
achieved where only boxes from the grocery and left-over pieces from
the carpenter shop have been provided. Such rough lumber affords good
experience in manipulation, and its use may help to establish habits
of adapting materials as we find them to the purposes we have in hand.
This is the natural attack of childhood, and it should be fostered,
for children can lose it and come to feel that specially prepared
materials are essential, and a consequent limitation to ingenuity and
initiative can thus be established.

On the other hand, some projects and certain stages of experience are
best served by a supply of good regulation stock. Boards of soft pine,
white wood, bass wood, or cypress in thicknesses of 1/4", 3/8", 1/2"
and 7/8" are especially well adapted for children's work, and "stock
strips" 1/4" and 1/2" thick and 2" and 3" wide lend themselves to many

[Illustration: Boy painting toy.]*

[Illustration: Girl playing with dolls house.]*


The proper basis of selection for toys is their efficiency as toys,
that is:

  They must be suggestive of play and made for play.

  They should be selected in relation to each other.

  They should be consistent with the environment of the child who is
  to use them.

  They should be constructed simply so that they may serve as models
  for other toys to be constructed by the children.

  They should suggest something besides domestic play so that the
  child's interest may be led to activities outside the home life.

  They should be durable because they are the realities of a child's
  world and deserve the dignity of good workmanship.

[Illustration: Children re-create the world as they see it with the
equipment they have at hand]

[Illustration: A house of blocks.]*


"There comes back to me the memory of an enormous room with its
ceiling going up to heaven.... It is the floor I think of chiefly,
over the oilcloth of which, assumed to be land, spread towns and
villages and forts of wooden bricks...the cracks and spaces of the
floor and the bare brown "surround" were the water channels and open
sea of that continent of mine....

"Justice has never been done to bricks and soldiers by those who write
about toys--my bricks and my soldiers were my perpetual drama. I
recall an incessant variety of interests. There was the mystery and
charm of the complicated buildings one could make, with long passages
and steps and windows through which one could peep into their
intricacies, and by means of slips of card one could make slanting
ways in them, and send marbles rolling from top to base and thence out
into the hold of a waiting ship.... And there was commerce; the shops
and markets and storerooms full of nasturtium seed, thrift seed, lupin
beans and such-like provender from the garden; such stuff one stored
in match boxes and pill boxes or packed in sacks of old glove fingers
tied up with thread and sent off by wagons along the great military
road to the beleaguered fortress on the Indian frontier beyond the
worn places that were dismal swamps....

"I find this empire of the floor much more vivid in my memory now than
many of the owners of the skirts and legs and boots that went gingerly
across its territories."

H. G. WELLS, "The New Machiavelli," Chapter 2.

[Illustration: The unsocial novice]

Nowhere else, perhaps, not even in his "Floor Games" and "Little Wars"
has Mr. Wells, or any other author succeeded in drawing so convincing
a picture of the possibilities of constructive play as is to be found
in those pages, all too brief, in "The New Machiavelli" where the play
laboratory at Bromstead is described. One can imagine the eager boy
who played there looking back across the years strong in the
conviction that it could not have been improved, and yet the picture
of a child at solitary play is not, after all, the ideal picture. Our
laboratory, while it must accommodate the unsocial novice and make
provision for individual enterprise at all ages and stages, must be
above all the place where the give and take of group play will develop
along with block villages and other community life in miniature.


In his reminiscences of his boyhood play Mr. Wells lays emphasis on
his great good fortune in possessing a special set of "bricks" made to
order and therefore sufficient in number for the ambitious floor games
he describes. Comparatively few adults can look back to the possession
of similar play material, and so a majority cannot realize how it
outweighs in value every other type of toy that can be provided.

Where the budget for equipment is limited, floor blocks can be cut by
the local carpenter or, in a school, by the manual training
department. The blocks in use at The Play School (see cut, p. 20) are
of white wood, the unit block being 1-3/8" X 2-3/4" X 5-1/2". They
range in size from half units and diagonals to blocks four times the
unit in length (22").

[Illustration: The Hill Floor Blocks at the Gregory Avenue School]

At present there is but one set of blocks on the market that
corresponds to the one Mr. Wells describes. These are the "_Hill Floor
Blocks_," manufactured and sold by A. Schoenhut & Co., of
Philadelphia. They are of hard maple and come in seven sizes, from 3"
squares to oblongs of 24", the unit block being 6" in length. There
are 680 pieces in a set. Half and quarter sets are also obtainable.
They are the invention of Professor Patty Smith Hill of Teachers
College, Columbia University, and are used in The Teachers College
Kindergarten and in many other schools.

[Illustration: Useful alike to builders and cabinet makers]

[Illustration: Advanced research in Peg-Lock construction]

The School of Childhood at the University of Pittsburgh makes use of
several varieties of blocks, some of commercial manufacture, others
cut to order. The list given is as follows:[C]

A. Nest of blocks.

B. Large blocks made to order of hard maple in five sizes:
      Cubes, 5" X 5".
      Oblongs, 2-1/2" X 5" X 10".
      Triangular prisms made by cutting cube diagonally into two and
        four parts.
      Pillars made by cutting oblongs into two parts.
      Plinths made by cutting oblongs into two parts.
      Light weight 12" boards, 3'-0" to 7'-0" long.

C. Froebel's enlarged fifth and sixth gifts.

D. Stone Anchor blocks.

E. Architectural blocks for flat forms.

F. Peg-Lock blocks.

As children become more dexterous and more ambitious in their block
construction, the _Peg-Lock Blocks_ will be found increasingly
valuable. These are a type of block unknown to Mr. Wells, but how he
would have revelled in the possession of a set! They are manufactured
by the Peg-Lock Block Co. of New York. Cut on a smaller scale than the
other blocks described, they are equipped with holes and pegs, by
which they may be securely joined. This admits of a type of
construction entirely outside the possibilities of other blocks. They
come in sets of varying sizes and in a great variety of shapes. The
School of Childhood uses them extensively, as does The Play School.

[Footnote C: See University of Pittsburgh Bulletin, "Report of the
Experimental Work in the School of Childhood."]

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*


The "Do-with Toys" shown in the accompanying cuts were designed by
Miss Caroline Pratt some years ago to meet the need generally felt by
devotees of the play laboratory of a consistent series of toys to be
used with floor blocks. For if the market of the present day can offer
something more adequate in the way of blocks than was generally
available in Mr. Wells' boyhood, the same is not true when it comes to
facilities for peopling and stocking the resulting farms and
communities that develop.

Mr. Wells tells us that for his floor games he used tin soldiers and
such animals as he could get--we know the kind, the lion smaller than
the lamb, and barnyard fowl doubtless overtopping the commanding
officer. Such combinations have been known to children of all
generations and play of the kind Mr. Wells describes goes on in spite
of the inconsistency of the materials supplied.

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

But when we consider fostering such play, and developing its
possibilities for educational ends, the question arises whether this
is the best provision that can be made, or if the traditional
material could be improved, just as the traditions concerning blocks
are being improved.

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

A few pioneers have been experimenting in this field for some years
past. No one of them is ready with final conclusions but among them
opinion is unanimous that constructive play is stimulated by an
initial supply of consistent play material calculated to suggest
supplementary play material of a kind children can manufacture for

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

Blocks are of course the most important type of initial material to be
provided; beyond this the generally accepted hypothesis is embodied in
the "Do-with" series which provides, first a doll family of
proportions suited to block houses, then a set of farm animals and
carts, then a set of wild animals, all designed on the same size
scale, of construction simple enough to be copied at the bench, and
suggesting, each set after its kind, a host of supplementary toys,
limited in variety and in numbers only by the experience of the child
concerned and by his ability to construct them.

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

This working hypothesis for the selection of toys is as yet but little
understood either by those who buy or those who sell play materials.
The commercial dealer declares with truth that there is too little
demand to justify placing such a series on the market. Not only does
he refuse to make "Do-withs" but he provides no adequate substitutes.
His wooden toys are merely wooden ornaments without relation to any
series and without playability, immobile, reasonless, for the
philosophy of the play laboratory is quite unknown to the makers of
play materials, while those who buy are guided almost entirely by
convention and have no better standard by which to estimate what
constitutes their money's worth.

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

On the other hand enthusiasts raise the question, why supply any toys?
Is it not better for children to make all their toys? And as Miss
Pratt says, "getting ready for play is mistaken for play itself."

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

Too much "getting ready" kills real play, and if our purpose is to
foster and enrich the actual activity, we must understand the subtle
value of initial play materials, of having at hand ready for the
promptings of play impulse the necessary foundation stones on which a
superstructure of improvisation can be reared.

[Illustration: Transportation Toys]

[Illustration: A trunk line]

When by hook or crook the devotees of floor games have secured a
population and live stock for their block communities, then, as Mr.
Wells reminds us, comes commerce and in her wake transportation
problems to tax the inventive genius of the laboratory.

Simple transportation toys are the next need, and suitable ones can
generally, though not always, be obtained in the shops. A few
well-chosen pieces for initial material will soon be supplemented by
"Peg-lock" or bench-made contrivances.

For railroad tracks the block supply offers possibilities better
adapted to the ages we are considering than any of the elaborate rail
systems that are sold with the high-priced mechanical toys so
fascinating to adult minds. Additional curved blocks corresponding to
the unit block in width and thickness are a great boon to engineers,
for what is a railroad without curves!

Transportation toys can be perfectly satisfactory when not made
strictly to scale. Indeed, the exigencies of the situation generally
demand that realists be satisfied with rather wide departures from the
general rule. Train service, however, should accommodate at least one
passenger to a car.

[Illustration: Play area.]*


The floor scheme pictured here is a good illustration of our
principles of selection applied to toys of larger scale. The dolls,
the tea set, the chairs are from the toy shop. The little table in the
foreground, and the bed are bench made. The bedding is of home
manufacture, the jardiniere too, is of modelling clay, gaily painted
with water colors. The tea table and stove are improvised from blocks
as is the bath room, through the door of which a block "tub" may be
seen. The screen used as a partition at the back is one of the Play
School "properties" with large sheets of paper as panels. (See cut p.

There are some important differences, however, between the content of
a play scheme like this and one of the kind we have been considering
(see cut page 30). These result from the size and character of the
initial play material, for dolls like these invite an entirely
different type of treatment. One cannot build villages, or provide
extensive railroad facilities for them, nor does one regard them in
the impersonal way that the "Do-with" family, or Mr. Wells' soldiers,
are regarded, as incidentals in a general scheme of things.

These beings hold the centre of their little stage. They call for
affection and solicitude, and the kind of play into which they fit is
more limited in scope, less stirring to the imagination, but more
usual in the experience of children, because play material of this
type is more plentifully provided than is any other and, centering
attention as it does on the furnishings and utensils of the home,
requires less contact with or information about, the world outside and
its activities to provide the mental content for interesting play.

[Illustration: A "Furnished Apartment" at the Ethical Culture School]

In the epochs of play development interest in these larger scale toys
precedes that in more complicated schemes with smaller ones. Mr.
Wells' stress on the desirability of a toy soldier population really
reflects an adult view. For play on the toy soldier and paper doll
scale develops latest of all, and because of the opportunities it
affords for schemes of correspondingly greater mental content makes
special appeal to the adult imagination.

Play material smaller than the "Do-with" models and better adapted to
this latest period than are either soldiers or paper dolls remains one
of the unexplored possibilities for the toy trade of the future.

[Illustration: Supplementary (A small toy train.)]

[Illustration: A play laundry.]*


Materials for housekeeping play are of two general kinds, according to
size--those intended for the convenience of dolls, and those of larger
scale for children's use. The larger kind should be strong enough and
well enough made to permit of actual processes.

Plentiful as such materials are in the shops, it is difficult to
assemble anything approaching a complete outfit on the same size
scale. One may spend days in the attempt to get together one as
satisfactory as that pictured here. The reason seems to be that for
considerations of trade such toys are made and sold in sets of a few
pieces each. If dealers would go a step further and plan their sets in
series, made to scale and supplementing each other, they would better
serve the requirements of play, and, it would seem, their own
interests as well.


From housekeeping play to storekeeping play is a logical step and one
abounding in possibilities for leading interest beyond the horizon
line of home environment.

Better than any toy equipment and within reach of every household
budget is a "store" like the one pictured here where real cartons,
boxes, tins and jars are used.

[Illustration: A "Grocery Store" at the Ethical Culture School]

Schools can often obtain new unfilled cartons from manufacturers. The
Fels-Naphtha and National Biscuit companies are especially cordial to
requests of this kind, and cartons from the latter firm are good for
beginners, as prices are plainly marked and involve only dime and
nickel computation. The magazine "Educational Foundations" maintains a
department which collects such equipment and furnishes it to public
schools on their subscribers' list.

Sample packages add to interest and a small supply of actual staples
in bulk, or of sand, sawdust, chaff, etc., for weighing and measuring
should be provided as well as paper, string, and paper bags of
assorted sizes.

Small scales, and inexpensive sets of standard measures, dry and
liquid, can be obtained of Milton Bradley and other school supply
houses. A toy telephone and toy money will add "content," and for
older children a "price and sign marker" (Milton Bradley) is a
valuable addition.

The School of Childhood (Pittsburgh) list includes the following
miscellaneous articles for house and store play:

    various sized boxes
    enlarged sticks of the kindergarten
    ribbon bolts filled with sand
    bottles, etc.


Materials of this kind are a valuable part of any play equipment. Of
the large assortment carried by kindergarten and school supply houses
the following are best adapted to the needs of the play laboratory:

_Modelling Materials_--Modelling clay and plasticine, far from being
the same, are supplementary materials, each adapted to uses for which
the other is unsuited.

_Weaving Materials_--Raphia, basketry reed, colored worsteds, cotton
roving, jute and macrame cord can be used for many purposes.

_Material for Paper Work_--Heavy oak tag, manila, and bogus papers for
cutting and construction come in sheets of different sizes. Colored
papers, both coated (colored on one side) and engine colored (colored
on both sides) are better adapted to "laboratory purposes" when
obtainable in large sheets instead of the regulation kindergarten
squares. Colored tissue papers, scissors and library paste are always
in demand.

_Color Materials_--Crayons, water color paints, chalks (for blackboard
use) are best adapted to the needs of play when supplied in a variety
of colors and shades. For drawing and painting coarse paper should be
furnished in quantity and in sheets of differing sizes.

"_If children are let alone with paper and crayons they will quickly
learn to use these toys quite as effectively as they do blocks and

[Illustration: Children playing with wagon.]*


Among the many desirable _toys for active play_ the following deserve
"honorable mention":

    Express wagon
    Horse reins
    "Coaster" or "Scooter"
    Velocipede (and other adaptations of the bicycle for beginners)
    Football (small size Association ball)
    Indoor baseball
    Rubber balls (various sizes)
    Bean bags
    Steamer quoits

As in the case of the carpenter's bench it is poor economy to supply
any but good _tools_ for the yard and garden. Even the best garden
sets for children are so far inferior to those made for adults as to
render them unsatisfactory and expensive by comparison. It is
therefore better to get light weight pieces in the smaller standard
sizes and cut down long wooden handles for greater convenience. The
one exception to be noted is the boy's shovel supplied by the Peter
Henderson company. This is in every respect as strong and well made as
the regulation sizes and a complete series to the same scale and of
the same standard would meet a decided need in children's equipment
where light weight is imperative and hard wear unavoidable.

In addition to the garden set of shovel, rake, hoe, trowel and
wheel-barrow, a small crow-bar is useful about the yard and, in
winter, a light snow shovel is an advantage.


[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

[Illustration: Small wooden toy.]*

A small permanent exhibit of the play equipment described may be seen
at the Bureau of Educational Experiments, 16 West 8th Street, New
York, and is occasionally loaned.


For convenience it has seemed well to divide the following list into
two parts--the first devoted to the discussion of theory, the other
offering concrete suggestions.

Such a division is arbitrary, of course. No better exposition of
theory can be found than is contained in some of these references
dealing with actual laboratory usage and furnishings. On the other
hand the two books by Dr. Kilpatrick, with their illuminating analysis
of didactic materials, afford many concrete suggestions, at least on
the negative side.



    "The Child: A Study in the Evolution of Man," Scribner, 1917.
        Chap. I, "The Meaning of the Helplessness of Infancy."
        Chap. II, "The Meaning of Youth and Play."
        Chap. IV, "The Periods of Childhood."


    "Democracy and Education," Macmillan, 1916.
        Chap. XV, "Play and Work in the Curriculum."
    "How We Think," D. C. Heath and Co.
        Chap. XVII, "Play, Work, and Allied Forms of Activity."
        Chap. XVI, "Process and Product."
    "Interest and Effort in Education," Houghton Mifflin Co., 1913.
        Chap. IV, "The Psychology of Occupations."
    "The School and Society," University of Chicago Press, 1916.
        Chap. IV, "The Psychology of Occupations."
        Chap. VII, "The Development of Attention."
    "Cyclopedia of Education," Edited by Paul Monroe, Macmillan Co.
        Articles on "Infancy," "Play."


    "The Place of Industries in Elementary Education," University of
        Chicago Press, 1915.


    "The Play of Man," Appleton, 1916.


    "Educational Problems," Appleton, 1911.
        Chap. I, "The Pedagogy of the Kindergarten."
        "Youth: Its Regimen and Hygiene," Appleton, 1916.
        Chap. VI, "Play, Sports and Games."


    "The Montessori System Examined," Houghton Mifflin, 1914.
    "Froebel's Kindergarten Principles Critically Examined,"
        Macmillan, 1916.


    "Play in Education," Macmillan, 1915.


    "Children's Play and Its Place in Education," Duffield, 1913.



    "Some Inexpensive Playground Apparatus," Bulletin No. 27, Playground
        Association of America and Playground Extension
        Committee of The Russell Sage Foundation.


    "Playthings," Bulletin No. I.
    "The Play School," Bulletin No. III.
    "The Children's School, The Teachers College Playground, The
        Gregory School," Bulletin No. IV.
          Bureau of Educational Experiments publications, 1917.


    "Report of the Experimental Work in the School of Childhood,"
        University of Pittsburgh Bulletin, 1916.


    "The Play Way," Stokes Co., 1917.


    "How to Equip a Playroom: the Pittsburgh Plan," Bulletin No. 118,
        Playground and Recreation Association of America, 1913.


    "Schools of To-morrow," Dutton, 1915.
        Chap. V, "Play."


    "Aspects of Child Life," Ginn, 1914.
        "The Story of a Sand Pile."


    "The Demonstration Play School of 1913," University of California
        Bulletin, 1914.


    "Experimental Studies in Kindergarten Education," Teachers College
        publications, 1915.


    "Education by Plays and Games," Ginn & Co., 1907.


    "Play for Home," Bulletin No. 102, Playground and Recreation
        Association of America.


    "The Mothercraft Manual," Little, Brown & Co., 1916.


    "Floor Games," Small, Maynard & Co., 1912.
    "The New Machiavelli," Duffield Co., 1910.
        Chap. II, "Bromstead and My Father."

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Catalogue of Play Equipment" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.