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.

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.

Playground Surfacing Issue
by: Playground Professionals
Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 4:28pm

The first day of Fall is here and so is the Surfacing issue of Play and Playground Magazine! Read it today!

Confessions of a Playground Guru
Neanderthal - PaleoPlay
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 3:49pm

PaleoPlay, which is all the sorts of play that children engage in that does not involve things that are manufactured, has been enjoyed by children for millennia and has virtually nothing to do with playgrounds. Jay Beckwith challenges recreation departments to provide for PaleoPlay.

Journey to Inclusion
Portland Oregon parks
by: Mara Kaplan
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 3:48pm

I had the pleasure of visiting Portland, Oregon a couple of weeks ago. I spent much of my time seeing their newer playgrounds, and I have to say I was incredibly impressed. Their playgrounds were far from the cookie cutter playground that I often see in large cities.

Playsafe and Live Well!
Picnic table and shelter - Photo courtesy of Creative Recreational Designs Inc.
by: Butch DeFillippo
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 3:47pm

Often when playground safety is brought up in a discussion, the focus is centered on the playground equipment and surfacing. The equipment and surfacing are extremely important elements of a playground, and there are standards, laws, and guidelines that can and should be reviewed when designing, building, maintaining, and supervising playgrounds....

2015 NRPA Conference
by: Playground Professionals
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - 9:24am

Playground Professionals will be exhibiting at the 2015 NRPA Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Visit Booth #2161 to discover the wonderful resources offered in their website with Play and Playground Magazine, Play and Playground News Center, The Play and Playground Encyclopedia, Park and Recreation Equipment Directory, and Local Playground...

Outdoor play - via Modernize
Posted: Friday, September 4, 2015 - 11:30am

Encouraging creativity and ingenuity in children is an important part of their emotional development. Loose parts play works by providing children with a safe, well-stocked environment that encourages open-ended and creative play. 

KOMPAN Sky Walk - Seattle Center playground
Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 3:15pm

The Seattle Center, home of the iconic Space Needle, has become Seattle’s locus of community engagement. 

Kutska's Korner, A Commentary
Double slide
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Monday, August 31, 2015 - 1:01am

Ken Kutska furthers the discussion with thoughts and examples of unintended use of playground equipment. Ever run up a slide? Play tag on it?

Confessions of a Playground Guru
Brachiating on monkey bars
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 1:54pm

Jay Beckwith looks at what he calls "simple-minded studies" that dictate safety standards and risk management mandates that have dumbed down play settings to the point of absurdity. See if you agree.

Kutska's Korner, A Commentary
Climbing a slide - unintended use - Shutterstock 102166951
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 3:21pm

Ken Kutska explores the dilemma of new innovative playground equipment's lack of solid definitions for ASTM and CPSC standards. Risk and safety pose the problem of balancing "not too much and not too little" in playground design.

Confessions of a Playground Guru
Unsafe play in polluted water
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 1:57pm

I have come to understand, and to some extent accept, that my effort at making safe places for children to play is a failure. The few good playgrounds are a tiny fraction of the places where most children are. Jay Beckwith addresses the issues that inhibit safe places to play.

Playsafe and Live Well!
Outdoor fitness equipment
by: Butch DeFillippo
Posted: Monday, July 20, 2015 - 1:44pm

This month is Parks and Recreation Month, and I would like to take this month to let you know about some of the new, interesting, and stirring ideas, programs, and facilities that I have come across lately...ASTM F3101-15, BaseTern, Civic Crowdfunding, and Green Roofs.