Ideas How the American playground was born in Boston As children’s play spaces evolve, the spirit behind the original 19th-century “sand garden” is on the rise again ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Globe archive photo An early "sand garden" in Boston. joe runci/Globe staff Children played at a new playground on Boston Common in 1948. Globe archive photo A woman waved to her son as he played in the Boston Common playground in 1948. Globe archive photo "Playland" was an enclosed outdoor playground sponsored by the Boston Park Department, first dedicated in 1948. thomas landers Children played at the Columbia Point playground in 1968. ed jenner Mark Deegan and James Thomas at a playground in 1971. Joseph Runci/Globe staff There was a line for the slide at a playground on Mass. Ave. in 1977. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff Paul McFarland, 7, and his shadow, at the new playground at Billings Field in West Roxbury in 1987. Barry Chin/Globe Staff Young children rode the swings at the Nelson Street Memorial Playground in Plymouth in 1993. Clare Mullins, Piedmont Park Conservancy Playgrounds grew to embrace flights of artistic fancy such as sculptor Isamu Noguchi's "playscape" in Atlanta. Cambridge Community Development Some child development experts now advocate for playgrounds incorporating “loose parts,” like those at the Alexander W. Kemp Playground at Cambridge Common. Mikkel Frost/CEBRA Cutting-edge playgrounds such as Denmark's Pulse Park integrate natural features with more typical "play" elements. Brenda Biondo A play structure in Pueblo, Colo. Brenda Biondo A playground in Hudson, Colo. Brenda Biondo A slide in Blanca, Colo. Brenda Biondo A slide in Cokedale, Colo. Brenda Biondo A structure in Avondale, Colo. Brenda Biondo A structure in Boulder, Colo. Brenda Biondo A playground in Burlington, Colo.