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
Rubber mats under swings
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Monday, March 2, 2015 - 1:01am

Playground safety expert suggests rubber safety surfaces increases injuries on the playground. Do you agree? Join the discussion.

The Anarchy Zone
Snow tunnel at Fire and Ice Event
by: Rusty Keeler
Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 - 10:00am

Well, we’ve done it again. Another successful and fun Fire and Ice Festival at the Anarchy Zone and Ithaca Children’s Garden. That’s right: we need play in winter just as much as summer (maybe more - winters in upstate NY are long and cold!)

On Playfulness
Darumaotoshi(w:ja:だるま) Photographed on 7 January 2006. Source: Photographed by Bpw
by: Bernie DeKoven
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 3:06pm

The discovery that we can get ourselves to play (or playfulness, or find some way to have something like fun with it all) – almost whenever we want, almost with whatever we feel like playing – is profound and empowering.

Kutska's Korner, A Commentary
Certified Playground Safety Inspector
by: Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 3:01pm

Over the past few weeks a series of comments and questions related to the CPSI examination process have surfaced on one of the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) social/professional networks appropriately named, NRPA Connect. As I reviewed the questions and comments, the primary concern or issue is the requirement to re-certify by...

Updates from IPEMA
Follow IPEMA at the 2015 Conference on the Value of Play
by: International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association IPEMA
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 8:33am

We are in Clemson, South Carolina for US Play Coalition’s 2015 Conference on the Value of Play! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for live updates.

Confessions of a Playground Guru
ThudGuard helmet
by: Jay Beckwith
Posted: Monday, February 9, 2015 - 3:18pm

I recently posted this image of the ThudGuard helmet on the Linkedin Playground Safety: Balancing Play Value & Injury Prevention group and asked what the members thought about it. After the predictable bout of mocking, the discussion became quite interesting.

Playsafe and Live Well!
Playground | Playground Design
by: Butch DeFillippo
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 - 11:11am

A Superintendent of Parks for a municipal government, shares his experience with playground design. Designing a playground? This is a must read.

Updates from IPEMA
International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association
by: International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association IPEMA
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 - 10:48am

We are so excited to be a sponsor of US Play Coalition’s 2015 Conference on the Value of Play. This conference is an opportunity to share how others implement innovative strategies to engage their community in play.

Have You Heard?
Creativity is contagious, pass it on - Albert Einstein
by: Anne-Marie Spencer
Posted: Monday, January 26, 2015 - 11:45am

There is a myth that work and play are entirely separate from one another. We work, and then we play. Work hard, play hard. Get one done efficiently so you have time for the other. But what about the creativity needed to be most efficient at work?

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...

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.”

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.

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.