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).
"So there we all were at the Anarchy Zone last Monday afternoon: Alex and I playworking 14 six and seven year olds from Ithaca's GIAC afterschool program, 2 GIAC adult supervisors, 2 Cornell researchers beginning their documented comparison of play patterns on the Anarchy Zone vs. traditional play equipment, and a sweet family from Ontario on their annual visit to Ithaca and the beloved Ithaca Children's Garden and Anarchy Zone.