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Playground Professionals News

Today's Play News and Views™

The Play and Playground News Center is published online every other Monday. At this site you can also access the Playground Professionals Directory with over 1000 playground companies listed. For interesting reading, be sure to visit The Play & Playground Encyclopedia with over 625 listings on play and playground people, companies, organizations, events, books, health, and safety issues.

Self-competitive play for the differently-abled - Bankshot Sports
by: Reeve Brenner
Posted: Friday, September 12, 2014 - 1:01am

Dr. Ron J. Turker a pediatric orthopedic surgeon writing in the NY Times, brought attention to The NATIONAL ASSOC FOR RECREATIONAL EQUALITY’S purpose advocating for self competitive play, that is, participation in sports alongside rather than against opponents. No contact, no banging others, “no contest” (title of Alfie Kohn's important book on...

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AquaPlay Giant Rain Fortress
by: Playground Professionals
Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 1:49pm

Lotte World has officially opened the first phase of a three phased Polynesian themed waterpark in Seoul, Korea. This long awaited project boasts a 120,000 square meters waterpark filled with impressive waterslides, wave pools and interactive play structures that take up the equivalent of 17 soccer fields. In the first four months of operations,...

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White Water Attractions
by: Playground Professionals
Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 1:36pm

We would like to invite you to visit WhiteWater Attractions’ booth #312 at the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ 2014 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida and discover the latest and greatest zoo project opening in Summer 2016! Zoo Miami is constructing a dynamic entrance that will offer guests a whole new experience when entering the park.

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Interactive Playground by Free Play Unveiled at New Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
by: Playground Professionals
Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 1:01am

Structures give children the freedom to play as they choose at the Al Ain FIFA stadium Al Ain, Abu Dhabi—Free Play, a New Jersey based creative studio launched in fall 2013, is making its debut in a big way—at the newly opened Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in the city of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. Free Play’s modular, customizable...

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US Play Coalition names new executive director, Stephanie Garst
by: Stephanie Garst
Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 9:54am

Stephanie Garst has been named the new executive director of US Play Coalition at Clemson University. The US Play Coalition is a nationwide partnership to promote the value of play throughout life. Formed in 2009, the coalition holds conferences, houses resources and advances research in the area of play.

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Everything You Want To Know About NRPA Congress 2014
by: Roxanne Sutton - NRPA Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist
Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 9:39am

The 2014 NRPA Congress is where great ideas in parks and recreation start. This year, in Charlotte, NC, thousands of park and recreation professionals, advocates and suppliers will come together to strengthen, innovate and advance the field. Charlotte, NC Oct. 14-16, 2014

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Playing Alongside - Bankshot Sports
by: Reeve Brenner
Posted: Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 11:00am

When children have outgrown the pre-school playgrounds, then what? We have games, sports and playfields. These are words used and often interchanged within the vocabulary of the recreational and playground specialist. There appears to be many ways to establish a distinction among these words. But one overlooked distinction concerns the reality...

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ASTM International
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 11:17am

What if any serious injuries have we reduced over the past 30 years? For more than 30 years the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been gathering and analyzing injury data. During this time, falls to the surface have been the leading cause of playground injuries requiring medical attention. Fall-related injuries continue to be one...

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Noah's Playground for Everyone entrance
by: Mara Kaplan
Posted: Monday, September 1, 2014 - 1:01am

As part of my Midwestern summer road trip, I stopped at Noah’s Playground for Everyone in Evanston, IL. Evanston is the home of Northwestern University and is just north of Chicago. The origins of this playground are similar to many inclusive playgrounds; it was built in memory of a young boy.

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mTBI assessment - photo courtesy of VisionQuest Biomedical, LLC
by: Butch DeFillippo
Posted: Monday, September 1, 2014 - 1:01am

We (PlaySafe, LLC) often conduct G Max Testing of sports fields to help owners reduce their potential for injuries. It is always interesting to discover improvements and advancements in our profession to make activities and sports safer. During many conversations with a personal friend of mine (Ricky VanNess), he informed me of how his work with...

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What makes a great playground survey
by: Anne-Marie Spencer
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 1:01am

Delving into what may be the most intransigent subject in the play industry, I decided to investigate public opinion on what truly makes a great playground. Rather than rely solely on industry or education based opinions, I also took the question to the public. The results were somewhat surprising, although what wasn’t surprising was that the...

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Courtesy of Shutterstock - D. Maria
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 1:01am

I have always believed that playgrounds are a very poor substitute for children being allowed free-range play in natural settings. Since the Industrial Revolution that idyllic vision of nature based play is increasingly rare. Understanding this fact, throughout the past five decades I have devoted myself to providing play opportunities to children...

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Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos - David Castillo Dominici
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014 - 2:56pm

Last month I gave my perspective on how playground-related injuries and the different severity of injuries do not necessarily correlate with the notion a currently compliant playground will eliminate or substantially reduce the frequency or severity of injuries. The question which needs to be answered is whether or not performance requirements for...

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Inclusive Playgrounds - Then and Now
by: Mara Kaplan
Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014 - 10:36am

Last week, I went on a road trip with my daughter through the Midwest visiting college campuses. Along the way we also visited different playgrounds in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, and Indiana. We were busy. When we got to Michigan, I realized that I had not been there for 10 years. The last time I was in Michigan, I was working...

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Playground installation
by: Butch DeFillippo
Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014 - 1:01am

It is always nice to get a fresh and different view of the world in which we live; this month I (PlaySafe, LLC) thought it would be interesting to interview a company that provides installation and maintenance services for playground equipment and surfacing. I chose Hansen and Prezzano Builders (H&P). They have installed over 7000 playgrounds...

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Mud Day at The Anarchy Zone
by: Rusty Keeler
Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 12:03pm

So there we have it: another successful International Mud Day celebrated, enjoyed, laughed at and loved. Did you go for it? Did you give it a try? Do you know about International Mud Day?? I hope so. First because it is so much fun and children love it so much. But also because it is ever so easy. The longer I work with groups on outdoor...

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Tech camp - making a robot suit - Jay Beckwith column
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014 - 1:01am

Well, not my whole vacation, just the first 3 weeks. It all started almost a year ago when I applied for a Community Benefits Grant from the City of Healdsburg with the goal of conducting two “Tech-Play” summer camps. We organized two camps. The advanced camp was intended to use beacon and mobile devices to create outdoor games and stories. For...

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Memories from the playground are a lifelong treasure - Anne-Marie Spencer
by: Anne-Marie Spencer
Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014 - 1:01am

This month’s column is an invitation. To you. Because as I travel around the US to shows, symposiums, meetings, and grand openings, it simply amazes me the stories I hear about the playground. How it changes lives, how it becomes the center point of a community, how it creates memories that people cherish, long after they have become adults and...

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"Destination" by anankkml - FreeDigitalPhotos.net
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014 - 10:00am

Three months ago I ended my column with the following statement: “Assuming the ISO TC 83 terminology paper 'Injury and Safety Definitions and Thresholds' is approved and published, I will discuss the terms and definitions for different types of injuries and break down each type into various levels of severity.” This document has been approved by...

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Mara Kaplan column - Playworld Systems' Rushmore
by: Mara Kaplan
Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014 - 1:01am

Open-ended play allows children to express themselves in play freely and creatively, not bound by preset limitations. It promotes imagination and problem solving. In open-ended play there are no expectations and no specific problems to solve. In contrast, close-ended activities, have a determined outcome, a right answer, and a restriction on...

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