Jay Beckwith

Jay Beckwith's picture

Playground Guru

Confessions of a Playground Guru

Called by many as one of the “fathers of the modern playground,” Jay began designing unique play environments in 1970. As new materials came into use early in the 1980s, he designed one of the earliest “post and deck” play structures, which quickly became a trend that he later decried as resulting in more and more playgrounds looking alike. Jay has written several books on designing and building children’s play equipment. He has also been involved with safety commissions, became a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, and has written publications and developed programs for playground safety. He has consulted with several playground manufacturers in their design processes and pushed towards new directions in play environments, such as climbing boulders and ropes. Jay has been a Fellow of the Association for the Study of Play for over twenty years, and his insightful observations of children at play have influenced his views of the needed changes for the future.

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10 months 5 days ago
Imagine an infant lying on their back on the floor. In your mind’s eye watch as she works to roll...
10 months 6 days ago
Winter 2016 Play and Playground Magazine is here! Read Jay Beckwith' featured story Play Leads to...
1 year 1 month ago
Most people think that art is something that sits on a pedestal or hangs on a wall and, up until...
1 year 2 months ago
1 comment
Nearly three years ago my friend Mike Lanza, of Playborhood fame, and I joined forces to find a way...
1 year 7 months ago
1 comment
Ask anyone who’s tried it. Bringing natural elements to playgrounds is as they say … “muy dificil...
1 year 7 months ago
Jay Beckwith- Although I was an art major in college, I was also able to take a number of classes...
1 year 8 months ago
Jay Beckwith- Over the past five decades I have dedicated myself to creating play opportunities for...
1 year 9 months ago
When someone says “adventure playground” I, and I suspect most people, have a vision somewhat like...
1 year 9 months ago
In a recent conversation with play designer Cas Holman, best know for her Rigamajig, she mentioned...
1 year 10 months ago
Anthropologists who study intact indigenous peoples find that they generally do not have a word for...
1 year 11 months ago
“Let your child be a child. Dirt is good. If your child isn’t coming in dirty every day, they’re...
1 year 11 months ago
5 comments
As followers of my posts will know, one of my self-appointed missions is to push for better...
2 years 3 days ago
Jay Beckwith discusses the challenges park and recreation managers will face while reaching out to...
2 years 1 month ago
3 comments
There are many ways to think about playground surfacing. Is it accessible and safe, does it drain,...
2 years 1 month ago
PaleoPlay, which is all the sorts of play that children engage in that does not involve things that...

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