Most child development centers and other early childhood facilities provide playground equipment for their attendees. PlaySafe, LLC conducts audits at many of these playgrounds, and we have found that it is common for the areas to be designed for children older than the intended users. When designing a playground for this type of learning environment, there are three age groups with vastly different needs to keep in mind. The Public Playground Safety Handbook – 325, written by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, covers all three groups and lists them as Toddlers (6 to 23 months), Preschool (2-5 years), and School Age (5-12 years).
Every day of the year, American families visit parks, playgrounds, parades, concert halls, multiple purpose rooms, or sport facilities where they sit and enjoy watching games, concerts, or special events. The following are just a few examples of how many of us go out to catch a game or watch an event and enjoy ourselves.
Many parks and recreation departments across the United States develop an important planning tool referred to as The Park Classification Plan. This plan is an effort on the part of community planners to ensure that residents have available the proper number of parks, in the best locations for use, with just the right amenities. This requires a thoughtful collection of key information and the application of high quality decision making. Playgrounds, associated areas, and equipment are critical to a well-conceived park plan. The following is a quick refresher in the development of this planning tool.