Top 5 Inventions for Kids


1
Playgrounds
A world without playgrounds wouldn't be quite so much fun.
A world without playgrounds wouldn't be quite so much fun.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Nearly everyone can think back on their childhood and recall their favorite playground, but that wasn't always the case. Before the women's suffrage movement that began in the late 1800s, public funding for playgrounds was virtually nonexistent in the United States. As the movement gained strength, it brought more attention to children's welfare in the process [source: Johansson]. Before long, playgrounds were popping up in cities across the country, even in poor neighborhoods. Schools soon followed suit, emphasizing recreation and physical fitness more.

Although few would argue that widespread access to playgrounds has been a bad thing, they can be dangerous; more than 200,000 children end up in the emergency room every year due to playground-related accidents [source: CPSC]. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advocates a number of common sense precautions parents can take to keep such injuries at a minimum, such as supervising children at play and ensuring the playground has a soft surface for children to land on. Still, some experts say that, while playgrounds should never be dangerous, an element of risk can actually help children learn their limits. Just keep that in mind the next time you see kids dangling by one foot from the monkey bars.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Balloon HQ. "How Balloons are Made." Nov. 1, 2002. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://balloonhq.com/faq/making.html
  • Balloon HQ. "The History of Balloons." Nov. 1, 2002. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/history.html
  • CBC News. "Child car seats: keeping your child safer in your car." May 25, 2009. (Jan. 6, 2011)http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2009/05/22/f-child-car-seats-safety.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Child Passenger Safety: Fact Sheet." Feb. 2, 2010. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Playground Injuries: Fact Sheet." Jan. 19, 2009. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Playground-Injuries/index.html
  • ChewingGumFacts. "Bubble Gum History." (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.chewinggumfacts.com/chewing-gum-history/bubble-gum-history/
  • City of Charlottesville. "History of Playgrounds." (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.charlottesville.org/Index.aspx?page=537
  • Dautaj, Jacqueline. "Facts on Playground Safety." Love to Know. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://safety.lovetoknow.com/Facts_on_Playground_Safety
  • Garberson, Emi. "Balloons." Loras College." (Jan. 6, 2011) http://myweb.loras.edu/eg380053/
  • Hawkins, Mathew. "'The Father of Video Games': Ralph Baer." Gamasutra. April 24, 2006. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2673/interview_the_father_of_home_.php
  • Johansson, Catrine. "Meet the master of balloons." April 17, 2004. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20040417&slug=balloonmaker17
  • MacMillan, Douglas. "Serious Playgrounds." Bloomberg Businessweek. Oct. 24, 2006. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/oct2006/db20061024_949441.htm
  • Martin, Douglas. "Richard Knerr, 82, Craze Creator, Dies." The New York Times. Jan. 18, 2008. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/18/business/18knerr.html?_r=1
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Inventor of the Week: Richard Knerr & 'Spud' Melin." (Jan. 6, 2011) http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/hulahoop.html
  • Mayo Clinic. "Car seat safety: Avoid 10 Common Mistakes." Nov. 5, 2010. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/car-seat-safety/MY00824
  • Merlin, Jean. "Great Balloons! The Complete Book of Balloon Sculpting." 1994.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). "Child Seats." (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS
  • The NPD Group. "Toy Industry Sales Generate $21.47 Billion in 2009." Feb. 1, 2010. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_100201a.html
  • Oliver, Myrna. "A. Melin, 77; Introduced Frisbee and Hula Hoop." Los Angeles Times. June 30, 2002. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://articles.latimes.com/2002/jun/30/local/me-melin30
  • Rogers, Amanda. "For 75 years, it's pop goes the bubble gum." Seattle Pi. April 21, 2003. (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.seattlepi.com/food/118240_bubblegum21.html
  • Smith, Will. "The History of the Car Seat." Articlebase. Oct. 7, 2008. (Jan. 6, 2011)http://www.articlesbase.com/education-articles/the-history-of-the-car-seat-593547.html
  • Wham-O. "The History of Wham-O." (Jan. 6, 2011) http://www.wham-o.com/history.html

UP NEXT

Fantastic, Freaky and Futuristic: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Fantastic, Freaky and Futuristic: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

The best stories of the week from HowStuffWorks.


More to Explore