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   Place with a specific design for children to be able to play there
   This article is about an area for play. For other uses, see Playground
   "Adventure Playground" redirects here. For the urban park in Berkeley,
   California, see Adventure Playground (Berkeley). For the album by John
   Surman, see Adventure Playground (album).

   A modern-day playground

   A playground, playpark, or play area is a place designed to provide an
   environment for children that facilitates play, typically outdoors.
   While a playground is usually designed for children, some are designed
   for other age groups, or people with disabilities. A playground might
   exclude children below a certain age.

   Modern playgrounds often have recreational equipment such as the
   seesaw, merry-go-round, swingset, slide, jungle gym, chin-up bars,
   sandbox, spring rider, trapeze rings, playhouses, and mazes, many of
   which help children develop physical coordination, strength, and
   flexibility, as well as providing recreation and enjoyment and
   supporting social and emotional development. Common in modern
   playgrounds are play structures that link many different pieces of

   Playgrounds often also have facilities for playing informal games of
   adult sports, such as a baseball diamond, a skating arena, a basketball
   court, or a tether ball.

   Public playground equipment installed in the play areas of parks,
   schools, childcare facilities, institutions, multiple family dwellings,
   restaurants, resorts, and recreational developments, and other areas of
   public use.

   A type of playground called a playscape is designed to provide a safe
   environment for play in a natural setting.
   [ ]


     * 1 History
          + 1.1 Response to Mass motorisation
          + 1.2 Playgrounds in the Soviet Union
     * 2 Design
     * 3 Effects on child development
     * 4 Funding
     * 5 Safety
          + 5.1 Regulation
          + 5.2 Prevention strategies
          + 5.3 Playground injury
          + 5.4 Unintended consequences
     * 6 Types
          + 6.1 Inclusive playgrounds
          + 6.2 Natural playgrounds
          + 6.3 Playgrounds for adults
     * 7 See also
     * 8 References
     * 9 External links


   Main article: Children's street culture
   Seesaw with a crowd of children playing

   Through history, children played in their villages and neighbourhoods,
   especially in the streets and lanes near their homes.^[1]^[2]^[3]

   In the 19th century, developmental psychologists such as Friedrich
   Froebel proposed playgrounds as a developmental aid, or to imbue
   children with a sense of fair play and good manners. In Germany, a few
   playgrounds were erected in connection to schools,^[4] the first
   purpose-built public-access playground was opened in a park in
   Manchester, England in 1859.^[5]

Response to Mass motorisation

   Further information: Effects of the car on societies
   Plaque to mark the spot where the Playground movement began in Nova
   Scotia (1906), Local Council of Women of Halifax, Nova Scotia

   However, it was only in the early 20th century, as the street lost its
   role as the default public space and became planned for use by motor
   cars, that momentum built to remove children from the new dangers and
   confine them to segregated areas to play. In the United States,
   organisations such as the National Highway Protective Society
   highlighted the numbers killed by automobiles, and urged the creation
   of playgrounds, aiming to free streets for vehicles rather than
   children's play.^[6]^[7] The Outdoor Recreation League provided funds
   to erect playgrounds on parkland, especially following the 1901
   publication of a report on numbers of children being run down by cars
   in New York City.^[8]
   Young boys playing in a New York City street, 1909

   In tandem with the new concern about the danger of roads, educational
   theories of play, including by Herbert Spencer and John Dewey inspired
   the emergence of the reformist playground movement, which argued that
   playgrounds had educational value, improved attention in class,
   enhanced physical health, and reduced truancy.^[9] Interventionist
   programs such as by the child savers sought to move children into
   controlled areas to limit 'delinquency'.^[2] Meanwhile, at schools and
   settlement houses for poorer children with limited access to education,
   health services and daycare, playgrounds were included to support these
   institutions' goal of keeping children safe and out of trouble.^[8]

   One of the first playgrounds in the United States was built in San
   Francisco's Golden Gate Park in 1887.^[10] In 1906 the Playground
   Association of America was founded and a year later Luther Gulick
   became president.^[11] It later became the National Recreation
   Association and then the National Recreation and Park Association.^[12]
   Urging the need for playgrounds, former President Theodore Roosevelt
   stated in 1907:

          City streets are unsatisfactory playgrounds for children because
          of the danger, because most good games are against the law,
          because they are too hot in summer, and because in crowded
          sections of the city they are apt to be schools of crime.
          Neither do small back yards nor ornamental grass plots meet the
          needs of any but the very small children. Older children who
          would play vigorous games must have places especially set aside
          for them; and, since play is a fundamental need, playgrounds
          should be provided for every child as much as schools. This
          means that they must be distributed over the cities in such a
          way as to be within walking distance of every boy and girl, as
          most children can not afford to pay carfare.^[13]

   In post war London the landscape architect and children's rights
   campaigner Lady Allen of Hurtwood introduced and popularised the
   concept of the 'junk playground' - where the equipment was constructed
   from the recycled junk and rubble left over from the Blitz. She
   campaigned for facilities for children growing up in the new high-rise
   developments in Britain's cities and wrote a series of illustrated
   books on the subject of playgrounds, and at least one book on adventure
   playgrounds, spaces for free creativity by children, which helped the
   idea spread worldwide.^[14]

Playgrounds in the Soviet Union

   This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this
   section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may
   be challenged and removed. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove
   this template message)

   See also: Cold War playground equipment

   Playgrounds were an integral part of urban culture in the USSR. In the
   1970s and 1980s, there were playgrounds in almost every park in many
   Soviet cities. Playground apparatus was reasonably standard all over
   the country; most of them consisted of metallic bars with relatively
   few wooden parts, and were manufactured in state-owned factories. Some
   of the most common constructions were the carousel, sphere, seesaw,
   rocket, bridge, etc.


     * Combination playground structure for small children; slides,
       climbers (stairs in this case), playhouse
     * The playground at Van Saun Park in Paramus, New Jersey
     * A "pirate ship" in Pelle Hermanni park in Pori, Finland
     * Playground in Yonkers, New York
     * The Royal Oak, Monmouth playground
     * A playground at a fast food restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia
     * Thematic playground with agricultural machine
     * Playground slides at Zrinski Park in Cakovec, Croatia
     * Playground at Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
     * A play area, titled Wonder World, at the departure lounge of
       Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok.
     * The "proton playground" at Fermilab includes a Bubble Chamber model
       and encourages children to follow a path resembling protons in a

   Playground design is influenced by the intended purpose and audience.
   Separate play areas might be offered to accommodate very young
   children. Single, large, open parks tend to not to be used by older
   schoolgirls or less aggressive children, because there is little
   opportunity for them to escape more aggressive children.^[15] By
   contrast, a park that offers multiple play areas is used equally by
   boys and girls.

Effects on child development

   Professionals recognize that the social skills that children develop on
   the playground often become lifelong skill sets that are carried
   forward into their adulthood. Independent research concludes that
   playgrounds are among the most important environments for children
   outside the home. Most forms of play are essential for healthy
   development, but free, spontaneous play--the kind that occurs on
   playgrounds--is the most beneficial type of play.

   Exciting, engaging and challenging playground equipment is important to
   keep children happy while still developing their learning abilities.
   These should be developed in order to suit different groups of children
   for different stages of learning, such as specialist playground
   equipment for nursery & pre-school children teaching them basic
   numeracy & vocabulary, to building a child's creativity and imagination
   with role play panels or puzzles.

   Rope bridge for improving balance

   There is a general consensus that physical activity reduces the risk of
   psychological problems in children and fosters their
   self-esteem.^[citation needed] The American Chief Medical Officer's
   report (Department of Health, 2004), stated that a review of available
   research suggests that the health benefits of physical activity in
   children are predominantly seen in the amelioration of risk factors for
   disease, avoidance of weight gain, achieving a peak bone mass and
   mental well-being.

   Exercise programmes "may have short term beneficial effects on self
   esteem in children and adolescents"^[16] although high-quality trials
   are lacking.^[16]

   Commentators argue that the quality of a child's exercise experience
   can affect their self-esteem. Ajzen TPB (1991) promotes the notion that
   children's self-esteem is enhanced through the encouragement of
   physical mastery and self-development. It can be seen that playgrounds
   provide an ideal opportunity for children to master physical skills,
   such as learning to swing, balance and climb. Personal development may
   be gained through the enhancement of skills, such as playing,
   communicating and cooperating with other children and adults in the

   It can also be seen that public and private playgrounds act as a
   preventative health measure amongst young people because they promote
   physical activity at a stage in children's lives when they are active
   and not yet at risk from opting out of physical activity.^[citation

   Children have devised many playground games and pastimes. But because
   playgrounds are usually subject to adult supervision and oversight,
   young children's street culture often struggles to fully thrive there.
   Research by Robin Moore^[17] concluded shown that playgrounds need to
   be balanced with marginal areas that (to adults) appear to be derelict
   or wasteground but to children they are areas that they can claim for
   themselves, ideally a wooded area or field.

   For many children, it is their favorite time of day when they get to be
   on the playground for free time or recess. It acts as a release for
   them from the pressures of learning during the day. They know that time
   on the playground is their own time.^[citation needed]

   A type of playground called a playscape can provide children with the
   necessary feeling of ownership that Moore describes above. Playscapes
   can also provide parents with the assurance of their child's safety and
   wellbeing, which may not be prevalent in an open field or wooded area.


   A playground under construction in Ystad, Sweden in 2016

   In the UK, several organisations exist that help provide funding for
   schools and local authorities to construct playgrounds. These include
   the Biffa Award, which provides funding under the Small Grants Scheme;
   Funding Central, which offers support for voluntary organisations and
   social enterprises; and the Community Construction Fund, a flagship
   programme by Norfolk County Council.^[18]

   A playground being built for a homeowner's backyard as part of a
   handyman project. Modern playgrounds can have many options besides
   swingsets, including sandboxes, rope-climbs, tic-tac-toe games, a fort
   with dormer roofs and a chimney, a slide, and other amenities.


   Safety, in the context of playgrounds, is generally understood as the
   prevention of injuries. Risk aversion and fear of lawsuits on the part
   of the adults who design playgrounds prioritizes injury prevention
   above other factors, such as cost or developmental benefit to the
   users.^[19] It is important that children gradually develop the skill
   of risk assessment, and a completely safe environment does not allow

   Sometimes the safety of playgrounds is disputed in school or among
   regulators. Over at least the last twenty years, the kinds of equipment
   to be found in playgrounds has changed, often towards safer equipment
   built with plastic. For example, an older jungle gym might be
   constructed entirely from steel bars, while newer ones tend to have a
   minimal steel framework while providing a web of nylon ropes for
   children to climb on. Playgrounds with equipment that children may fall
   off often use rubber mulch on the ground to help cushion the

   Playgrounds are also made differently for different age groups. Often
   schools have a playground that is taller and more advanced for older
   schoolchildren and a lower playground with less risk of falling for
   younger children.

   Safety discussions do not normally include an evaluation of the
   unintended consequences of injury prevention, such as older children
   who do not exercise at the playground because the playground is too

   Safety efforts sometimes paradoxically increase the likelihood and
   severity of injuries because of how people choose to use playground
   equipment. For example, older children may choose to climb on the
   outside of a "safe" but boring play structure, rather than using it the
   way the designers intended. Similarly, rather than letting young
   children play on playground slides by themselves, some injury-averse
   parents seat the children on the adult's lap and go down the slide
   together.^[22] This seems safer at first glance, but if the child's
   shoe catches on the edge of the slide, this arrangement frequently
   results in the child's leg being broken.^[22] If the child had been
   permitted to use the slide independently, then this injury would not
   happen, because when the shoe caught, the child would have stopped
   sliding rather than being propelled down the slide by the adult's

   Also concerning the safety of playgrounds is the material in which they
   are built. Wooden playgrounds act as a more natural environment for the
   children to play but can cause even more minor injuries. Slivers are
   the main concern when building with wood material. Wet weather is also
   a threat to children playing on wooden structures. Most woods are
   treated and do not wear terribly fast, but with enough rain, wooden
   playgrounds can become slippery and dangerous for children to be on.


   In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the
   American National Standards Institute have created a Standardized
   Document and Training System for certification of Playground Safety
   Inspectors. These regulations are nationwide and provide a basis for
   safe playground installation and maintenance practices. ASTM F1487-07
   deals with specific requirements regarding issues such as play ground
   layout, use zones, and various test criteria for determining play
   ground safety. ASTM F2373 covers public use play equipment for children
   6-24 months old. This information can be applied effectively only by a
   trained C.P.S.I. A National Listing of Trained Playground Safety
   Inspectors is available for many states. A Certified Playground Safety
   Inspector (CPSI) is a career that was developed by the National
   Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) and is recognized nationally by the
   National Recreation and Park Association or N.R.P.A. (Some information
   sources offer interactive examples^[23] of playground equipment that
   violates CPSC guidelines.)

   In Australia, Standards Australia is responsible for the publication of
   the playground safety Standards AS/NS4422, AS/NZS4486.1 and AS4685
   Parts 1 to 6. The University of Technology Sydney is responsible for
   the training and accreditation of playground inspectors.^[24] The
   Register of Playground Inspectors Australia lists all the individuals
   who have been certified to inspector playgrounds within Australia.^[25]

   European Standards EN 1177 specifies the requirements for surfaces used
   in playgrounds. For each material type and height of equipment it
   specifies a minimum depth of material required.^[26] EN 1176 covers
   playground equipment standards.^[27]^[28] In the UK, playground
   inspectors can sit the examinations of the Register of Play Inspectors
   International at the three required levels - routine, operational and
   annual. Annual inspectors are able to undertake the post-installation
   inspections recommended by EN 1176.

  Prevention strategies

   Because the majority of playground injuries are due to falls from
   equipment, injury prevention efforts are primarily directed at reducing
   the likelihood of a child falling and reducing the likelihood of a
   severe injury if the child does fall. This is done by:
     * reducing the maximum fall height of equipment, primarily by
       reducing the overall height of anything a child might climb on or
     * reducing the likelihood of falling from equipment, through using
       barriers, discouraging climbing, and making upper surfaces
       inconvenient or uncomfortable for climbing or sitting on; and
     * installing a more flexible surface under and around play equipment,
       so that a child who falls is less likely to break a bone.

   How effective these strategies are at preventing injuries is debated by
   experts, because when playgrounds are made from padded materials,
   children often take more risks.^[21]^[29]

  Playground injury

   Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than
   200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related
   injuries.^[30]^[31] Approximately 156,040 (75.8%) of the 1999 injuries
   occurred on equipment designed for public use; 46,930 (22.8%) occurred
   on equipment designed for home use; and 2,880 (1.4%) occurred on
   homemade playground equipment (primarily rope swings).

   Percentage of injuries involving public equipment

     * About 46% occurred in schools.
     * About 31% occurred in public parks.
     * About 10% occurred in commercial childcare centers.
     * About 3% occurred in home childcare.
     * About 3% occurred in apartment complexes.
     * About 2% occurred in fast food restaurants.
     * About 9% occurred in other locations.

   From January 1990 to August 2000, CPSC received reports of 147 deaths
   to children younger than 15 that involved playground equipment.
     * 70% of those deaths occurred in home
     * 30% of those deaths occurred in public use

   Girls were involved in a slightly higher percentage of injuries (55%)
   than were boys (45%).

   Injuries to the head and face accounted for 49% of injuries to children
   0-4, while injuries to the arm and hand accounted for 49% of injuries
   to children ages 5-14. Approximately 15% of the injuries were
   classified as severe, with 3% requiring hospitalization. The most
   prevalent diagnoses were fractures (39%), lacerations (22%),
   contusions/abrasions (20%), strains/sprains (11%).

   For children ages 0-4, climbers (40%) had the highest incidence rates,
   followed by slides (33%). For children ages 5-14, climbing equipment
   (56%) had the highest incidence rates, followed by swings (24%). Most
   injuries on public playground equipment were associated with climbing
   equipment (53%), swings (19%), and slides (17%).

   Falls to the surface was a contributing factor in 79% of all injuries.
   On home equipment, 81% were associated with falls.

   In 1995, playground-related injuries among children ages 14 and younger
   cost an estimated $1.2 billion.^[32]

   On public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbers than on any
   other equipment.^[31] On home playgrounds, swings are responsible for
   most injuries.^[31]

   Playgrounds in low-income areas have more maintenance-related hazards
   than playgrounds in high-income areas. For example, playgrounds in
   low-income areas had significantly more trash, rusty play equipment,
   and damaged fall surfaces.^[33]

  Unintended consequences

   As a result of what some experts say is overprotectiveness driven by a
   fear of lawsuits, playgrounds have been designed to be, or at least to
   appear, excessively safe.^[21] This overprotectiveness may protect the
   playground owner from lawsuits, but it appears to result in a decreased
   sense of achievement and increased fears in children.^[21]

   The equipment limitations result in the children receiving less value
   from the play time.^[21] The enclosed, padded, constrained, low
   structures prevent the child from taking risks and developing a sense
   of mastery over his or her environment. Successfully taking a risk is
   empowering to children. For example, a child climbing to the top of a
   tall jungle gym feels happy about successfully managing the challenging
   climb to the top, and he experiences the thrill of being in a
   precarious, high position. By contrast, the child on a low piece of
   equipment, designed to reduce the incidence of injuries from falls,
   experiences no such thrill, sense of mastery, or accomplishment.
   Additionally, a lack of experience with heights as a child is
   associated with increased acrophobia (fear of heights) in adults.^[21]

   The appearance of safety encourages unreasonable risk-taking in
   children, who might take more reasonable risks if they correctly
   understood that it is possible to break a bone on the soft surfaces
   under most modern equipment.^[21]^[29]

   Finally, the playground that is designed to appear low-risk is boring,
   especially to older children.^[21] As a result, they tend to seek out
   alternative play areas, which may be very unsafe.^[21]

   Risk management is an important life skill, and risk aversion in
   playgrounds is unhelpful in the long term. Experts studying child
   development such as Tim Gill have written about the over-protective
   bias in provision for children, particularly with playgrounds.^[29]
   Instead of a constructed playground, allowing children to play in a
   natural environment such as open land or a park is sometimes
   recommended; children gain a better sense of balance playing on uneven
   ground, and learn to interpret the complexity and signals of nature
   more effectively.^[29]


   Playgrounds can be:
     * Built by collaborative support of corporate and community resources
       to achieve an immediate and visible "win" for their neighborhood.
     * Public, free of charge, like at most rural elementary schools
     * Connected to a business, for customers only, e.g., at McDonald's,
       IKEA, and Chuck E. Cheese's.
     * For-Profit business with an entrance fee, like those at the (now
       defunct) Discovery Zone, Zoom Zoom's Indoor Playground in Ancaster,
       Ontario, Jungle Jam Indoor Playground, and Kidtastic Indoor
     * Non-Profit organizations for edutainment as children's museums and
       science centers, some charge admission, some are free.

  Inclusive playgrounds

   Universally designed playgrounds are created to be accessible to all
   children. There are three primary components to a higher level of
   inclusive play:
     * physical accessibility;
     * age and developmental appropriateness; and
     * sensory-stimulating activity.

   Some children with disabilities or developmental differences do not
   interact with playgrounds in the same way as typical children. A
   playground designed without considering these children's needs may not
   be accessible or interesting to them.

   Most efforts at inclusive playgrounds have been aimed at accommodating
   wheelchair users. For example, rubber paths and ramps replace sand pits
   and steps, and some features are placed at ground level. Efforts to
   accommodate children on the autism spectrum, who may find playgrounds
   overstimulating or who may have difficulty interacting with other
   children, have been less common.^[34]

  Natural playgrounds

   Main article: Playscape

   "Natural playgrounds" are play environments that blend natural
   materials, features, and indigenous vegetation with creative landforms
   to create purposely complex interplays of natural, environmental
   objects in ways that challenge and fascinate children and teach them
   about the wonders and intricacies of the natural world while they play
   within it.

   Play components may include earth shapes (sculptures), environmental
   art, indigenous vegetation (trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, lichens,
   mosses), boulders or other rock structures, dirt and sand, natural
   fences (stone, willow, wooden), textured pathways, and natural water
     * A natural playground sandbox provides a place for passive and
       creative play
     * Jacques-Laurent Agasse: The Playground, 1830
     * Playground in Turin, Italy on a rainy day in 2019
     * Wheelchair-accessible public playground in the US in 2007
     * Playground incorporating aquatic plant life in Sawara, Japan
     * A wooden castle at playground in Rakvere, Estonia
     * Playground in Ystad, Sweden in 2019. The colorful surface is soft
       rubber asphalt.
     * Hanging artificial fruit at a playground in Sri Lanka
     * A water-based playground in Germany

  Playgrounds for adults

   Further information: Outdoor gym and Fitness trail

   China and some countries in Europe have playgrounds designed for
   adults.^[35] These are outdoor spaces that feature fitness equipment
   designed for use primarily by adults, such as chin-up bars.

   Playgrounds for older adults are popular in China.^[36] Seniors are the
   primary users of public playgrounds in China. These playgrounds are
   usually in a smaller, screened area, which may reduce the feeling of
   being watched or judged by others.^[36] They often have adult-sized
   equipment that helps seniors stretch, strengthen muscles, and improve
   their sense of balance.^[36] Similar playgrounds for adults have been
   built in other countries.^[36] Berlin's Preussenpark for example is
   designed for people aged 70 or higher.

See also

     * Adventure playground
     * Chin-up bar
     * Children's street culture
     * Children Youth and Environments Journal
     * Cold War playground equipment
     * Commercial Playgrounds
     * Empower playgrounds
     * Friendship bench
     * Home zone/Play street
     * Obstacle course
     * Playground game
     * Playground song
     * Playground Surfacing
     * Playscape
     * Playtime
     * Playwork
     * Recess (break)
     * Ropes course
     * Rubber Mulch


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   11. ^ Playground Association of America (1907). The Playground.
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   13. ^ To Cuno H. Rudolph, Washington Playground Association, February
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   15. ^ Foran, Clare (16 September 2013) "How to Design a City for Women"
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       ISSN 0306-3674. PMC 1725055. PMID 16244186.
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       Equipment (A light-hearted guide)" (PDF). Smp.co.uk. Archived from
       the original (PDF) on 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
   29. ^ ^a ^b ^c ^d Gill, Tim (2007). No fear: Growing up in a Risk
       Averse Society (PDF). Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. p. 81.
       ISBN 978-1-903080-08-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on
   30. ^ "U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Tips for Public
       Playground Safety, Publication #324" (PDF). Archived from the
       original (PDF) on 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
   31. ^ ^a ^b ^c Tinsworth D, McDonald J. Special Study: Injuries and
       Deaths Associated with Children's Playground Equipment. Washington
       (DC): U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; 2001.
   32. ^ Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress. Risks to Students
       in School. Washington (DC): U.S. Government Printing Office; 1995.
   33. ^ Suecoff SA, Avner JR, Chou KJ, Crain EF. A Comparison of New York
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       Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 1999;153:363-6.
   34. ^ Play! A Portal to New Worlds Archived 2010-06-11 at the Wayback
       Machine Pamela Wolfberg, PhD, Inclusive Play Advisory Board, 2009
   35. ^ Hu, Winnie (1 July 2012). "New York Introduces Its First Adult
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   36. ^ ^a ^b ^c ^d Traverso, Vittoria (29 October 2019). "The cities
       designing playgrounds for the elderly". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-26.

     * Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. Organisational
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     * Biddle, S. J., & Mutrie, N. (2001). Psychology of physical
       activity: Determinants, well-being and interventions. Abingdon:
     * Ekeland, E., Heian, M., & Hagen, K.B. (2005). Can exercise improve
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     * Department of Health (2004). The benefits of regular physical
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External links

   Look up playground in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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     * National Program for Playground Safety - U.S. clearinghouse for
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     * The Overprotected Kid - article about adventure playgrounds in The
     * Benefits of living within walking distance of a park at The New
       York Times

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