Play and Playground News Center offers exclusive content written by prominent leaders in the industry as regular monthly columnists as well as other contributors who submit their news and views. The Play and Playground News Center also includes sections of recently published news articles on play, playgrounds, projects, products, parks and recreation, people, press releases, health and safety, toys, and fundraising as well as opinion pieces and a calendar of events.

Kutska's Korner, A Commentary
ASTM Standards for Swing Safety
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 5:51pm

In Part 2 of Ken' Kutska's discussion of ASTM standards for playground safety, he explores the myths and facts surrounding the surfacing threshold debate.

Outdoor Exercise
by: Julius Francis
Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 4:16pm

Things are constantly changing around us. I remember growing up as a kid being outside most of the time because WE HAD to be outside to find fun things to do. We would make up random games that involved jumping, running, and throwing things, and this was an everyday occurrence after school and on the weekends. As time passed, things started to...

by: Curtis Stoddard
Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 3:44pm

By Curtis Stoddard, member of the Board of Trustees for the International Playground Contractors Association

Confessions of a Playground Guru
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 3:50pm

When someone says “adventure playground” I, and I suspect most people, have a vision somewhat like the one above and envision a playspace comprised mostly of junk and reclaimed lumber cobbled together into semi-permanent structures. The concept was first introduced in 1943 and not only do a few such playgrounds continue to exist but occasionally a...

Journey to Inclusion
infographic lawson foundation
by: Mara Kaplan
Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 12:53pm

2016—It Could be a Great Year for Play The year is only 2 weeks old and I can already tell that it is going to be a great year for play.   The New Jersey State House and Senate voted at the end of the year to make recess mandatory.  The bill is now sitting on Governor Christie’s desk waiting for his signature.  The legislation will require...

childrens games
Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 3:31pm

In 1971 the School District of Philadelphia and I made public the revolutionary discovery that kids who play together work together better. All right, not nearly as revolutionary as I had hoped it would be. But at least we got to prove it. (Probably. Actually 1971 was a long time ago and I can’t find the research paper, and don’t exactly remember...

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 2:45pm

The Hanifl Family Wild Woods A Nature Based Play-Area at The Minnesota Zoo Trees love to toss and sway; they make such happy noises. Emily Carr A Description of The Hanifl Family Wild Woods

On Playfulness
by: Bernie DeKoven
Posted: Monday, January 4, 2016 - 7:04pm

There were two things, no, make that three, that struck me enough about Patricia Flatley Brennan Maslow-like "Hierarchy of the Imagination" to make me want to share it with you:

Confessions of a Playground Guru
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 2:57pm

In a recent conversation with play designer Cas Holman, best know for her Rigamajig, she mentioned the Cyborg Manifesto, an essay written by Donna Haraway. Many writers have adopted Ms. Haraway’s notion of humans becoming cyborgs for various purposes and I found it fascinating to research that many branched discussion.

by: Julius Francis
Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 1:14pm

I want to share a story with you to demonstrate how much influence your mind has over your athletic performance. The skills you bring to the table, as well as your level of athleticism will play a part in how well you do, but only a part.  There is a saying, “An athlete with average talent that works hard will eventually beat the athlete with all...

Merry Christmas from PGP
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 12:00pm

In 2000, Curtis Stoddard approached Harris Publishing with the idea of publishing a magazine to champion the playground industry. Originally called Today’s Playground and then Playground Magazine, the publication reached thousands of readers with insightful information from industry leaders.

Kutska's Korner, A Commentary
ASTM Balloting
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 5:53pm

Ken Kutska continues his discussion on the current debate surrounding the ASTM vote on lowering the F1292 impact threshold from 1000 to 700 HIC. 

Confessions of a Playground Guru
Girl playing in dirt
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Monday, November 23, 2015 - 2:36pm

“Let your child be a child. Dirt is good. If your child isn’t coming in dirty every day, they’re not doing their job. They’re not building their immunological army.”  Dr Mary Ruebush, immunologist and author of Why Dirt is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friends This post may make you feel really yucky but bear with me, it’s important.

History of playground surfacing
by: Rolf Huber
Posted: Monday, November 23, 2015 - 2:15pm

Playgrounds have become complex systems located in harsh outdoor environments. Protective surfacing is the most important injury prevention system in that environment as a passive safety system. Depending on where it is located in the use zone, the surface must absorb impacts and be firm and stable at the same time. 

History of Playground Surfacing
by: Rolf Huber
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 4:06pm

In the first part of a two-part series, Rolf Huber explains a brief history of surfacing, starting with the era of synthetic surfacing materials manufactured and discussing how safety standards have been the driving force to changes in surfacing systems.

Confessions of a Playground Guru
Long Ramp Playground
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 3:04pm

As followers of my posts will know, one of my self-appointed missions is to push for better playgrounds with more play value. Nowhere is the problem of bad playspace design more rampant than in the area of “accessible” playgrounds. To look at this in detail, let’s look at a particularly egregious new playground in New Jersey.

Confessions of a Playground Guru
school kids taking selfies
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 11:36am

Jay Beckwith discusses the challenges park and recreation managers will face while reaching out to the up-and-coming generation, which he terms the "Cloud generation."

Have You Heard?
Manipulative Play
by: Anne-Marie Spencer
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 3:14pm

Anne-Marie explores how people see play for children. While we all know play when we see it, some speak of it as a way for young children to learn, as a catalyst to breed cooperation, interpersonal relationships, coordination, and as the very foundation for life success. Amazingly, there are still those who think play is trivial.

Kutska's Korner, A Commentary
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 12:35pm

This is Part 3 of 3 articles by Ken Kutska as he continues his discussion on the Hazard Based Approach to Standards Development for playground design.

Playground Professionals booth at NRPA Conference
by: Playground Professionals
Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 6:34pm

Las Vegas - Bright lights, fine dining, star entertainment, all the latest innovations and ideas in the recreation and park industry...what? Which of these items does not seem to belong? The Playground Professionals team enjoyed meeting colleagues at the 2015 NRPA Conference in Las Vegas.