Leningrad: Brokgauz-Efron, 1924. Item #277
106 pp. 23x16,5 cm. In original printed wrappers. Some tears of the extremities. Otherwise very good.
Very rare. One of 4000 copies.
A very attractive edition and a curious work on children’s playgrounds in cities in early Soviet Russia, first of its kind. The book includes a short historical study about genesis and evolution of playgrounds in Russia. The author states that there is no established method of working with children at playgrounds - only elements borrowed from foreign methods like Froebel, Montessori, genetic and ancient greek method, method of central idea. Next chapters can be considered as recommendations for organizing children’s playgrounds: how to choose a right place for it, what constructions it should have, getting animals («every playground should have something alive, starting from a dog and finishing with maybe a goat»), how to involve kids into making a garden, what kind of books should it have, how to arrange hiking during summer (to forrest, field, river, lake, village, et al.), how to watch nature («Let’s start with the sun and suggest the children to come to the playground early in the morning to watch the sunrise and note where it rises, and to do the same in the evening and note where it sets. If we repeat it for two weeks from the same place, children will notice that points in which sun rises and sets are different»), how to throw a celebration and involve children in preparation, how to organize groups of interest («We know that children are neither patient nor skilled enough to deal with photographs in a proper way. Young photographer would always overexpose, or underexpose, or mess up with developer or fixer, so his work must be corrected by supervisor or more experienced fellow»). The author also gives estimated questions and subjects of talk with children, like duties (or wishes) for members of the playground, how to build day schedule for summer, parents meetings, importance of keeping statistics (examples of statistical tables and forms given in application in the end), playground’s staff. Features and details of organizing playgrounds in a village are described separately.
Examples of ads about playgrounds from the first years after the revolution presented in the end as well as list of recommended books, table with approximate needs in figures for the playground (materials, tools, etc.), a plan of summer activities for children of one Leningrad school in 1921 (equipment list, staff, schedule of interest groups, hiking trips, handmade work, games and organized groups of kids - ‘keepers of toys’, ‘keepers of board games’, ‘ janitors’, ‘group captains’ etc.).
Overall a great inside view of a idealist phenomenon which didn’t last for long and transformed into other institutions.
Worldcat locates no copies.