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Playground Professionals News

Today's Play News and Views™
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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.

The Pepper Family Accessible tree-house
by: Mara Kaplan
Posted: Monday, September 29, 2014 - 1:59pm

“Imagine if you could create a world for your children, one that they would never forget...a magical tree house land filled with action, excitement and squeals of delight, a tree house, fueled by make-believe and the imagination of the young or a tree house inviting journeys to far-off lands, yet still safe to explore...Imagine that your children...

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Courtesy of Freenotes Harmony Park
by: Butch DeFillippo
Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 10:57am

My staff and I conduct playground safety audits all over the country and we often find confusion (by owners, designers, users, and maintenance crews) on what type of equipment should be reviewed to the playground standards. My hope is that the following article can provide some clarification to the confusion. As with many aspects of life, there is...

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FreeDigitalPhotos - "Storage Silos" by xedos4
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 3:20pm

There have been many philosophers and researchers who have made play a central subject of their work: Piaget, Huizinga, Rogers, Parten, Bruner, Dewey, Montessori, Vygotsky and many more. These thinkers have enlightened us and given us new insights to guide psychotherapy, education, and parenting. As important and useful as these contributions have...

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Toro Announces ‘Green Spaces Make Great Places’ Grant Program
by: Playground Professionals
Posted: Monday, September 29, 2014 - 2:34pm

Part of what makes a good community great are the green spaces for families, friends, neighbors and community members to enjoy. To help improve outdoor environments like neighborhood parks, playgrounds and other great spaces, Toro has launched “Green Spaces Makes Great Places” (http://bit.ly/GreenSpacesGreatPlaces). This second annual community...

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National Toy Hall of Fame Reveals 12 Toy Finalists
by: The Strong
Posted: Monday, September 22, 2014 - 1:08pm

The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, today announced the 12 finalists for induction into the hall: American Girl dolls, bubbles, Fisher-Price Little People, Hess Toy Trucks, little green army men, My Little Pony, Operation Skill Game, paper airplane, pots and pans, Rubik’s Cube, Slip’N Slide, and Teenage Mutant Ninja...

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Are playgrounds really safe?
by: Michael Baldwin, CPSI
Posted: Friday, September 19, 2014 - 3:36pm

Is it a reasonable expectation of parents that our children are safe when playing on a playground? Safety standards, especially those related to playground safety surfaces, play a huge role in answering this question. But are the safety standards really safe? It could be argued that they currently are not.

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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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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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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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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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