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Selected Methods


During this class, we focused on the issue of play in NYC to examine how maps elucidate concepts in Children and Youth Studies. Drawing from “Containing Children: some lessons for planning for play from New York City” by Roger Hart, we compared how the issues discussed in the article can be evidenced in various maps of parks and other places considered to be play spaces in New York City.

The reading focuses on the importance of playgrounds not only in New York City but in other states, as it gives the child the ability to have free play. By having access to playground children, it is important to understand that playgrounds were created in order for children to be out of the streets and for them to be safe. A child should always play because it’s important for their development and children should have a voice. Unfortunately as of today politicians do not see playgrounds as useful as they used to and it’s extremely upsetting as children should have a place to be in their free time. In the past there were also staff members who would take care of playground and of children but today is unquestionable and unseen.  Children want to explore, touch and explore the world as they see the world different than adults and this could be achievable with playgrounds as they can play, jump and run in an open space. When children play they can have the freedom to pass their culture to their friends through games, song and dance. Playing with friends is also important because it develops skills of cooperation, sharing and caring which are the qualities that would help children become adults and adapt to different situations as well as to other people. Another important issue is that many times playgrounds are not reliable for children with disabilities and this should change as all children should have the right to play in spaces that are appropriate for every child. In order to monitor community participation, the government and park and recreation planners listen to complaints made by parents. However, they rarely take the perspectives of parents and children into consideration. In order to improve play opportunities and play in public spaces, it is vital to involve the children and allow them to have the right to give their voice in these matters that concern them.

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