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A FEW MORE PLAYGROUND SUGGESTIONS
of the Air." Owen Hinck of the Recreation Department suggests that if properly approached most radio stations will be found willing to give free publicity to local recreation programs.
Pet Shows. Pet shows have won a permanent place on the playground program. Here are a few suggestions for conducting them:
The pet show is often not just an affair of an hour or an afternoon. It lasts a week or more in many places, beginning with stories in the story hour and talks by pet shop owners, the S.P.C.A. or the children on the care of pets, a trip to the zoo or an exploration trip in the woods for the purpose of finding wild life in stream and woods. On one playground a preliminary event to the show was a "clinic" day for pets on which two veterinarians volunteered their services and examined the children's pets free of charge. In another city the children were shown animal slides.
Having aroused interest in pets and a pet show in any of these ways, the pet show director will find that posters, announcements, newspaper stories and a preliminary parade of pets will arouse interest to a high pitch and draw many entries.
Entry blanks are helpful in facilitating and perhaps limiting the show. Space must be provided on the blank for the name of the child, his address and age, and the kind, age and sex of the pet or pets entered. There should be a space for a number and the closing date for entries. Entry rules should be printed on the blank to make sure the children know them. These may include the following:
1. Each pet must belong to the exhibitor or his family.
2. Only children under 18 may exhibit pets. (A special event may be introduced for older exhibitors if so desired.)
3. All animals, including cats, but excepting dogs, must be in comfortable cages. Dogs may be on a leash.
4. No kitten or puppy under six months may be entered. (For its health's sake.)
5. A water dish must be provided for such animals as dogs and birds.
A parade is in order, with each entrant wearing a numbered arm band and leading or carrying his
Chief Whitefeather, Chippewa Indian, visits the playgrounds of Milwaukee to give Indian dances and stories, display Indian crafts and teach games. This is a WPA project sponsored by the Milwaukee Public Schools Department of Municipal Recreation and Adult Education.
pet. Costumes for exhibitors and decorated cages and carts add color. to the parade. The parade may serve
A FEW MORE PLAYGROUND SUGGESTIONS
one of three purposes; namely, for the display of pets for everyone to see before the judging or for advertising purposes or as the show itself, to be judged en route as it passes and repasses the judges' stand. (The numbered arm band will assist the judges in awarding prizes and should tally with the number on the entry blank.)
In preparing for the show proper, benches or areas may be set aside for each kind of animal and should be labeled prominently. At one show the owner of a pet shop loaned blocks of wire cages in which animals could be kept until judging time. A sawdust ring may be used for judging different classes, and is especially necessary in an indoor show for the protection of the floor.
Judging is at best a difficult problem. In the eyes of its owner each pet is the very best in all the world. Who is there to judge truly in such a case? Judges should recognize this problem by giving a large number of prizes (perhaps, beginning or ending with the awarding of an "entry" prize for every entry) in not too "dead serious" a fashion. If animals are judged by kinds and each class be judged to four places, a larger number of prizes can be awarded. Prizes should be very inexpensive so that there will be as little disappointment as possible to mar the show. Colored ribbons printed in gold have proven very satisfactory. Classes should be so determined that no animal wins more than one or two prizes. Pedigreed animals are either barred, entered in a separate class or judged with the others for such informal qualities as are listed below.
There are a number of possible events. Dogs and cats form separate classes, for there are usually many of them. If there is a great number, prizes may be given for each sex and for different age groups in each class. Other animals, such as rabbits, birds and fish are divided into classes. and judged in the same vein as the dogs and cats whose classes we suggest. (The obedience class for dogs involves four tests: The dog must lie down, come when called, follow the exhibitor without a leash and perform a special trick. Two minutes are given for each part of the test.)
All the animals may compete in the following classes: Most unusual pet; largest number of pets in one family; most comically dressed exhibitor; best decorated cage or wagon and the pet farthest from home. A special classification of inanimate pets, drawings or models may be arranged for those who do not have live pets.
Nature Clubs. With the first signs of spring, the boys' clubs of Danville, Illinois, take to the trail in search of adventures. Junior boys' clubs in the four community centers are known as Pokagon Clubs, Pokagon being the name of a great Indian chieftain-a romantic, colorful figure, who ruled the Pottawatomie Indian tribe.
The first issue of the Pokagon newspaper, which appeared the middle of March, announced coming events and included sketches and comments, birds, pets and hobbies. In addition the paper urged club members to contribute articles to the paper and offered one free membership and the button of the Junior Audubon Club of Danville for the best story submitted each week. Another club activity was the showing of a series of bird films in connection with the regular weekly moving picture program at each center. A list of recommended books on nature topics to be found in the public library was posted on the bulletin boards of the centers. One film which made a special appeal was "Ups and Downs," photographed by William L. Finley, known as America's greatest wild life photographer, or the Martin Johnson of North America. In the film library of the Recreation Department a motion picture study of the following birds is represented: pelicans, terns, laughing gulls, canvasbacks, purple martins, egrets, Louisiana herons, phalaropes, marsh plover, coots, grebes, vireos, barn swallow, titmouse, flycatchers and robins. A study of these films before the hike makes the trip more interesting. Many of the boys take their own cameras on their country trips and are planning to make their own slides for club use.
The regular weekly program of activities has developed as follows: Each week the weather permits, the club members, with their nature guide, "hit the trail." One week the hike may take the boys on a visit to Harrison Park to explore the nature trails recently developed under WPA and NYA. Trees have been labeled and trails have been marked, making a trip to this large natural park area more interesting than ever. On another occasion the boys may decide to explore
"Something Old-Something New"
ERHAPS you are a sports enthusiast, a football
or baseball fan, a
follower of the
And a few interesting facts which you may
By JULIA POST
Rock Hill, South Carolina
may know a great deal about sports, but do you know about the origins of such games as Badminton, table tennis, tether ball, shuffleboard or deck tennis-those sports which in recent years have enjoyed a revival.
Shuffleboard. If you have traveled or wintered in Florida, you are no doubt familiar with shuffleboard, for there indeed it is the sport of sports! There is scarcely a town or city that does not have at least one shuffleboard court, and in St. Petersburg, the true home of American shuffleboard, there are numberless courts. You may be surprised to know that shuffleboard is by no means a new sport. True, as a land sport it dates back only to 1913, when it was introduced in Daytona Beach, Florida, as a sidewalk game. Since that time it has gained widely in popularity and is now used extensively in parks, recreation centers and schools, as well as in backyards.
The modern game of shuffleboard was preceded by a shipboard game known by the same name. This aquatic form was in turn directly descended from games played in England as early as the fifteenth century and known variously as "Shovegroat," "Slidegroat" and "Shovel-penny," so called, no doubt, because of the resemblance of the disc used to the coins of that period.
Tether Ball. Another game, the origin of which does not go back as far as shuffleboard but which is by no means new, is tether ball. This game dates back to 1896 when it was patented under the name "Spirapole" by P. B. Cow, Cheapside, London. It was first used on shipboard on the maiden cruise of the "Dunnegan Castle." As a shipboard game the name was changed to "tether ball" or
"dodo," and for some time continued as a successful addition to shipboard interests. It is rarely seen now, however, as a shipboard game, for it has deserted its marine setting and become popular as a land sport.
Horseshoe Pitching. There are few people nowadays who are not familiar with horseshoe pitching as a sport. As a farmyard sport, where horseshoes are to be found in abundance, it has long been popular. The clang of shoes as they strike each other or as they encircle the stake is heard at picnics, county fairs or practically any place where crowds of people are gathered for an outing.
Horseshoe pitching was a great national game before the time of Homer and was very popular during the time of the Roman empire, so "even the Greeks had a name for it."
It is interesting to note that Washington's soldiers when not occupied in fighting the British amused themselves with horseshoe pitching. "Slipper slamming" or "barnyard golf" are popular names for the homely sport of horseshoe pitching.
Badminton. The popularity of Badminton has received a tremendous impetus recently because of its adoption by the Beverly Hills dwellers to whom the eyes of America frequently turn. Although relatively new to the American public, it has been used in this country for some time, the first Badminton club having been formed in New York in
The Women's Rules and Editorial Com-
extracts from an article prepared by Miss Post, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Athletic Games, whose official handbook, one of the Spalding Athletic Library series, recreation workers will find very helpful.
1878. A similar game was played in the Orient centuries ago. In India it was taken up by English army officers and brought by them to England where it was given the name of Badminton in honor of the Duke of Gloucester, the name of whose estate was Badminton. The first Badminton club in England was established in the city of Bath. The game is (Continued on page 104)
Music on the Playground
There cannot be a well-rounded playground program without singing and rhythmic activities. So here are some suggestions for music making.
HERE ARE contemplative mo
ments even on a playground; moments when the group, whatever its age, falls
By A. D. ZANZIG
National Recreation Association
naturally in smooth lyrical singing of the sort that thrives as well around a camp fire. Older boys and girls, especially the boys, together, are then in a mood to make harmony, and they will do so if someone will sing a spiritual or Carry Me Back to Old Virginny or the like with a good smooth flow and swing. From improvising harmony a group of teen-age boys might go into learning parts in the simplest of the songs in such a collection as the Check Book of the series known as Twice 55 Community Songs, published by C. C. Birchard and Company of Boston. Or if some. of the boys still have soprano or alto voices, the Orange Book of the same series will suit them. The Rose Book of that series is for treble voices alone, for girls or boys or both. The Hall and McCreary Company of Chicago also publishes a series of inexpensive collections for these various kinds of groups. 'Simple rounds and descants * are a very interesting entrance into part-singing if each singer really listens to the group as a whole while he sings his own part. For any part-singing except rounds the leader should be capable of determining correctly which part is best suited to each person's voice.
There are times also for very animated singing, of sea chanteys, cowboy songs, team songs, hiking ones, accumulative ones like Slovette or The Tree In the Wood and other good rousers. The younger children will then want to sing songs like The Windmill with its pantomimic actions, and In Poland with its brisk marching rhythm, both in the National Recreation Association's Songs for Informal Singing, Set I, in which, as in Set II, there are many other rousing songs that the older boys and
* See Community and Assembly Singing, a detailed guide, obtainable from the National Recreation Association at 60c.
girls will like. The little children. will also want to sing some of the more active of the almost infinite number of traditional songs such as are in Fifty Favorite Songs for Girls and Boys, obtainable for ten cents at Woolworth's. Dramatized Rhythm Plays by John R. Richards (A. S. Barnes & Co.), though lacking in opportunity for spontaneity, has helpful suggestions for making action songs of many an old familiar song for children. Any singing period can, of course, admit many kinds of songs, quiet or animated, the contrasts in the songs and in the singing of them making not only for greater enjoyment but also for more and more expressive singing and enlarging experience. But the music play that seems most characteristic of the playground is that which calls for a still fuller measure of action.
Singing games we think of, dozens of them, as natural a mode of play for children, especially those under ten, as walking is a mode of locomotion. Miss Neva Boyd's American and English Games is an especially rich collection of these. If leaders could only prize sufficiently the value of free-flowing rhythm in a singing game, the singing and the motions would not be so heavy as they usually are. When every beat is given equal weight, the onward, liberating flow of rhythm, which is its most enjoyable and most longed-for quality, is lost. Only as we distinguish between the light beats and the intenser ones and feel the undulating forward motion of each phrase as a whole do we let the singing game give us what we most desire in it. Let the leader sing it so and move to it so, and the children will very likely do likewise.
In this article Mr. Zanzig deals prima-
Encourage children to sing with the same naturalness and lightness and ease as they speak, and with the same relative stresses on the words and syllables. If they will simply
MUSIC ON THE PLAYGROUND
speak the words of the game naturally just once for the fun of it, without the music, they will be almost bound to catch the idea and the rhythm and all the greater freedom and fun that goes with them. Then if they do not carry these into the singing, it will be because of bad habit which can certainly be overcome gradually without any loss of interest, especially well through singing games new to the children.
Encourage them also to enjoy the song as well as, if not more than, the rest of the game, and to enjoy it with their ears as well as with their voices. To do this and also to save their voices from danger of injury, they will need to sing the song in a proper key, in which the lowest tone will not go below D or, at the lowest exception, not below C. This care for having the song in a proper key can be made an interesting part of the game, to make the latter more enjoyable. The leader and the children can soon learn to judge by the quality of the singing as to whether it is suitably pitched or not. Let the children be interested in judging for themselves so that they will sing well even when the leader is not around. But never oppress them with this interest to endanger the spontaneity of their play. If necessary, the leader should use a pitch-pipe for the purpose until her judgment becomes surer. Perhaps the most frequent cause of harsh, inane and injurious singing is the common false notion that enthusiasm and enjoyment are to be measured only by loudness. A free, bounding rhythm, even when accompanied by very light singing, is the fullest and best token of real enthusiasm. Another cause of the bad singing is public performance, when the children are urged to sing loudly in order to be heard by the entire audience. Children's play is not naturally for public performance, anyway, but if it must be put to that use the more resonant singing of real enthusiasm, and rhythm with sure familiarly with all the words, and enforced voices, may be heard farther and certainly more enjoyably than mere loudness can be.
Adults, and more and more older boys and girls, it seems, also like singing games and singing dances, but such as Captain Jinks or Come, Let Us Be Joyful in Twice 55 Games with Music, and many another good one in the Handy Kits of the Cooperative Recreation Service of Delaware, Ohio, in Skip to My Lou, published by the Girl Scouts, and in several bulletins issued by the National Recreation Association, especially one entitled Musical Mixers.
If the children or older folk have developed a sense of the "phrase rhythm," as has been suggested for the singing games, they will readily carry it over into folk dancing and enjoy it and the dancing more and more. The widely-known collections of folk dances compiled by Mary Wood Hinman and Elizabeth Burchenal, to be found in most public libraries, offer a large range of choice as to the ages and tastes of the dancers. The simpler of the English country dances and of the Morris dances, collected by Cecil Sharp and published by the H. W. Gray Company, 159 East 48th Street, New York, are suited to boys and girls of about twelve or over as well as to adults. Bean Setting and others of the traditional Morris dances in which sticks are used, or done by men alone, appeal to boys more readily than do most. other folk dances. New interest in American square dancing has been growing in many communities. A thing to remember about folk dancing is that, like every other sport or art, it thrives best where there is care for doing it well without loss of spontaneity. Learning more and more folk dances and doing them better and better has become a beloved hobby for many people.
Rhythms and Other Simple Dancing
Who has not seen children come bounding out of school and go skipping down the street? That is dancing, too. And the mood of it, of most eager living, is surely a boon surpassed by no other. Music can bring it to us, especially to children, even when that mood has been far away. How can that natural dancing grow into a mode of play with music, especially well suited to the playground? Let us say that you have clearly and gaily in your mind and fingers, or in some other person's mind and fingers, such tunes as are in Folk Songs and Ballads,* Set III, published by the E. C. Schirmer Music Company of Boston, and here is a group of children. You say to them that music is a wonderful thing that is always trying to say things to us or to tell us something to do. Sometimes it tells us to skip, and sometimes to walk or run, or just sit quietly and listen. Then you play Rosa from that collection and about midway invite the children to clap to it so as to insure their really feeling the life in it. What is it telling us to do? Off they go, skipping to it. Then, after a pleasant signal, like the playing or
These tunes are also in Sets I and II of Songs for Informal Singing, previously mentioned, but these without accompaniments.