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Jay Beckwith

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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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4 years 6 days ago
2 comments
Jay Beckwith looks at what he calls "simple-minded studies" that dictate safety standards and risk...
4 years 1 month ago
I have come to understand, and to some extent accept, that my effort at making safe places for...
4 years 2 months ago
The ADA has impacts on playground design that have been a mixed blessing.
4 years 2 months ago
Jay Beckwith explores the latest trends in playgrounds. The loudest chatter is all about challenge...
4 years 3 months ago
I’m sure you’ve heard the recent story about two children, 10 and 6, being arrested and hassled by...
4 years 4 months ago
Today is a red-letter day for me. Having created dozens of playground innovations I finally have...
4 years 5 months ago
2 comments
A recent discovery by Jay Beckwith - the majority of what we adults do when designing for play has...
4 years 5 months ago
Coming together for a “barn raising” is as old as America. It is only natural that that same spirit...
4 years 5 months ago
5 comments
Jay Beckwith, playground safety expert, suggests rubber safety surfaces increase injuries on the...
4 years 6 months ago
2 comments
I recently posted this image of the ThudGuard helmet on the Linkedin Playground Safety: Balancing...
4 years 7 months ago
Over the past year there have been many articles written about the impact of screen time on...
4 years 7 months ago
My recent article for Playground Magazine dealt with the materials technology of playgrounds. One...
4 years 8 months ago
2 comments
Two main elements are the primary factors that have determined how playgrounds look and perform:...
4 years 9 months ago
Throughout my childhood we played pretty much everywhere including the streets. Much of our play...
4 years 10 months ago
As we discussed in our last column, Laura Richardson’s insightful The Periodic Table of 21st...

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