News

Playground Professionals News 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 Playground Professionals News 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
A new baby seat that comes with an iPad mount has some parents and experts worried that children that age are far too young to be getting screen time.
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 11:43am

Over the past year there have been many articles written about the impact of screen time on children. Such concerns are nothing new. In the ’50s, many of the same dire predictions where rampant over the impact of TV. Interestingly, some of those predictions, such as kids becoming more sedentary on one hand and more informed on the other, turn out...

On Playfulness
Albert Einstein
by: Bernie DeKoven
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 10:40am

Trying to make something fun implies that in your heart of hearts you believe it isn’t. Which is why it never works. Not in the long run. Think of the last diet you were on. I know, you probably did your best to make it fun, to, how they say, “gamify” it into a long-term commitment. Maybe you counted calories, or set goals, or joined a club of...

Updates from IPEMA
Voice of Play Board of Advisors, Teresa Hendy
by: International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association IPEMA
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 10:34am

The Voice of Play Board of Advisors, comprised of industry experts, supports IPEMA’s efforts to increase the quality and quantity of children’s play and playgrounds. Teri Hendy brings extensive knowledge of the standards and guidelines that apply to the playground industry.

FreeDigitalPhotos - “Wheelchair” by ponsulak
by: John McGovern
Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 1:50pm

John McGovern gives a clear understanding of the accessibility requirements for playgrounds as directed by the Americans With Disabilities Act. How do the rules apply to local government playgrounds, privately owned playgrounds, church playgrounds, and HOA playgrounds?

Journey to Inclusion
Photo by Vlado - Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos
by: Mara Kaplan
Posted: Monday, January 5, 2015 - 11:25am

2014 has been another great year for inclusive play. For those sceptics that say that inclusive play is a fad, the numbers do not agree with you. I estimate that just over 100 new inclusive playgrounds opened in United States and Canada this year.

Confessions of a Playground Guru
Image courtesy Roel Crul of Vorm en Ruimte, the Netherlands
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Monday, January 5, 2015 - 9:43am

My recent article for Playground Magazine dealt with the materials technology of playgrounds. One of the materials I mentioned was the trend toward using more naturals such as logs, plants, and rocks, etc. I needed a good image of a playscape to illustrate this and reached out to a Linkedin group I belong to, Natural Playgrounds. In addition to a...

Kutska's Korner, A Commentary
The Latest Challenge to Free Play - Today's Headlines
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Monday, December 22, 2014 - 1:01am

In my last column I cited some news headlines that reported a child’s death on a playground and some resulting actions of removing playground equipment to avoid injury.

Playsafe and Live Well!
Dog Parks - photo courtesy of Creative Recreational Designs, Inc
by: Butch DeFillippo
Posted: Monday, December 22, 2014 - 1:01am

If you ask most dog owners, they will say “My dog is a better athlete than I am,” and they usually follow it up with the statement “And I really need to get in shape.”

Updates from IPEMA
Voice of Play Board of Advisors, Ken Kutska
by: International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association IPEMA
Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 8:51am

The Voice of Play Board of Advisors, comprised of industry experts, supports IPEMA’s efforts to increase the quality and quantity of children’s play and playgrounds. For over 35 years, Ken Kutska has dedicated his career to parks and recreation management including serving as the Director of Parks and Planning for Wheaton Park District.

Bernie DeKoven - Playground Professionals News Columnist
by: Playground Professionals
Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 10:16am

Playground Professionals is pleased to introduce the newest columnist to join our team of contributors - Bernie DeKoven! He is a highly sought-out expert on PLAY and will be speaking at Sandbox Summit 2015, held March 23 and 24 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You will want to keep up with Bernie as he gives his thoughts...On Playfulness!

On Playfulness
Duck, duck, goose - Wikipedia Commons
by: Bernie DeKoven
Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 9:27am

We tend not to give ourselves as much credit as we deserve - especially when it comes to thinking ourselves as “playful.” Playfulness is something we associate with children and childhood. We might have been playful back then. But now, grown-up, responsible beings that we have become, we think of ourselves differently.

Updates from IPEMA
Voice of Play Board of Advisor, Dr. Joe Frost
by: International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association IPEMA
Posted: Monday, December 8, 2014 - 9:07am

The Voice of Play Board of Advisors, comprised of industry experts, supports IPEMA’s efforts to increase the quality and quantity of children’s play and playgrounds. Dr. Joe Frost, or otherwise known as the contemporary father of play advocacy, is recognized around the world for his work in children’s play and play environments.

Updates from IPEMA
Dr Stuart L Brown - Voice of Play advisor
by: International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association IPEMA
Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 12:06pm

The Voice of Play Board of Advisors, comprised of industry experts, supports IPEMA’s efforts to increase the quality and quantity of children’s play and playgrounds. Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, joined the team of industry experts in 2011.

Kutska's Korner, A Commentary
A teddy bear sits outside the chained-link fence at Fisher’s Landing Elementary School in Vancouver, Oct. 3, 2014. (KOIN 6)
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 10:26am

Just a few weeks ago I received an email alert about a 7-year-old girl’s death on a playground in the State of Washington. This recent death of a young girl has once again placed our public playgrounds under the microscope of media scrutiny. I have a concern with how the media and public playground owners are reacting to this story. Some public...

Playsafe and Live Well!
PlaySafe LLC - playground supervisors
by: Butch DeFillippo
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 - 9:33am

We assume that while our children are using playgrounds at schools, recreation programs, and childcare facilities, they are being supervised by trained professionals. Teachers, teaching assistants, program leaders, administrators, parents, and other volunteers often have little or no training about playground safety, with the exception of life...

Updates from IPEMA
Voice of Play - International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association
by: International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association IPEMA
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 - 8:55am

IPEMA would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful for play and the opportunities it provides!

US Play Coalition conference
by: US Play Coalition
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 3:40pm

The theme of the 2015 Conference on the Value of Play is Advancing Play. It will be held February 15-18, 2015 at the Madren Center, Clemson, South Carolina.

by: California Park & Recreation Society
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 11:17am

Sacramento is gearing up for 1200+ park, recreation and leisure services professionals (aka our “Superheroes of the Community”) to come together to learn from each other, learn from industry experts, and to share important experiences and best practices. They will join together at the 67th annual CPRS Conference & Expo being held at the...

Rubik's Cube, 1980 - Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York.
by: The Strong
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 10:42am

Initially known as the Magic Cube, today’s Rubik’s Cube—a six-sided puzzler that has challenged several generations—holds the title of best-selling toy of all time. Along with bubbles and little green army men, Rubik’s Cube is one of the 2014 inductees to The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame. I first tackled the cube in the early 1980s during...

The Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes
by: Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 8:39am

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation is committed to getting as many students as possible on fun, safe playgrounds. Every year, we partner with Discovery Education to sponsor the Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes, a contest where schools nationwide can compete for a brand new playground from Playworld Systems, Inc.