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Guide to Designing a Park

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Maintenance Tips for School Playgrounds

Every school should review maintenance tips for school playgrounds with staff regularly. In order to ensure that children stay safe and are are able to continue playing, proper maintenance of your equipment and the surrounding area is important.  How to Maintain a School Playground Use these playground maintenance tips to keep your school play space safe, attractive and lasting for years: • Decide who will be responsible for maintenance. Maintaining a school playground is only possible if it’s clear who will be checking for issues and doing the maintaining. Designate a committee or hire a service, but look for individuals who are local and who can check in often. Make sure the people tasked with maintenance have the proper training and knowledge of how to keep up your playground equipment. •Have equipment installed and inspected by a certified professional. Especially if your playground is older, get certified professionals to attest to the safety of each piece of equipment. Have them confirm that there is enough space around each piece of equipment and that everything is installed correctly. Get professionals to check whether current safety standards are met and have them pay attention to surfacing in particular, which tends to need replacing and maintenance ... Read more

Why Are Playgrounds Important?

With today’s many options for children’s play, why are playgrounds important? It’s a fair question to ask in a world of video games, extracurricular activities, TV programs and other forms of entertainment. In reality, playgrounds offer many advantages and benefits to children, especially when it comes to development. Childhood is a time of rapid growth, and the right play equipment can encourage children to develop at all levels as they have fun. Why Are Playgrounds Important For Children's Development? The developmental benefits of playgrounds are many and varied: Playgrounds get children into action so they can grow physically. Play equipment can encourage children to be more active, building their muscle groups and fine motor skills in the process. Swings, slides, climbers and other types of equipment encourage children to develop their balance, speed, agility and coordination. Getting kids in the habit of exercise and making it a fun activity can help encourage kids to stay active throughout their lives.   Playgrounds encourage children to build social skills. When children meet others on the playground, they learn to get along, agree on rules and resolve conflict - all of which are necessary when building social skills. Children can overcome shyness when ... Read more

How Playgrounds Fight Childhood Obesity

Is there a link between playgrounds and obesity among children? Do playgrounds help fight obesity among young children? There is mounting evidence to suggest this is the case. The CDC has followed initiatives regarding obesity deterrents and playground renovations, concluding that playgrounds can help children avoid obesity. How Playgrounds Fight Childhood Obesity The link between fighting childhood obesity and access to parks and playgrounds is more complex than it may seem at first. Studies have suggested that playgrounds can help children stay at healthy weights, and this can happen in a few ways: • Playgrounds encourage social skills. Building social skills and making friends is important for childhood development. Children who have friends to spend time with may feel less lonely and may be less likely to use eating as a distraction. When children make friends with kids who eat well and are active, they may learn to adopt the behaviors of their peers, which can help prevent obesity.  • Playgrounds encourage physical activity. Playgrounds offer many ways for children to stay active, and play spaces help children engage in many different activity types. Climbers, slides, swings and other pieces of equipment engage different muscle groups, allowing children to get a full-body workout.  • ... Read more

The Importance of Recess for Kids With ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder that affects children of all ages. It can cause distraction, disorganization, concentration issues, forgetfulness, restlessness and more. Children with ADHD tend to have a particularly hard time in the classroom because this condition makes it more difficult for them to finish tasks, listen in class, sit still and concentrate. The Importance of Recess for Kids with ADHD For children with ADHD, recess is particularly important for a few reasons: Recess keeps children from being isolated. Children with ADHD have a medical condition that makes it harder for them to avoid disruptive behaviors in the classroom. When children with ADHD are kept from recess as a punishment for causing disruptions, they are being singled out for their medical condition, and this can encourage teasing.   Recess can improve physical activity. All children need physical activity, and recess play is a fantastic way to do that. One of the recess benefits of for ADHD children is being able to dispel excess energy and restlessness.   Recess and ADHD symptoms may be linked. The CDC reports that recess activities can improve concentration, memory, and attention, which children with ADHD need help with. Studies have ... Read more

How Playgrounds Have Changed

How have playgrounds changed over the years? The history of playgrounds stems back to the 1850's, when the very first playgrounds were created in England. In the 1900's and early 2000's, there does not seem to be much change on the surface. Adults may still see the climbers, slides, teeter-totters and swings they remember from their childhoods, but in fact, the evolution of playgrounds has changed significantly - even in just the past few years. How Playgrounds Have Changed Playgrounds have changed in a few basic ways: Materials. In the past, many playgrounds were made with metal and treated lumber. Today, due to health concerns, treated lumber is no longer used because it can leach toxins. Many manufacturers today use high-quality metals to build their equipment, which tends to last longer than wooden counterparts. Standards. One of the biggest changes to playground equipment over the years has been safety standards. Today’s play equipment is safer than ever before, with reinforced frames and “ouchless” designs that help prevent pinching. While supervision is still the most important way to keep kids safe on the playground, safer equipment can help reduce the risk of injuries. Purpose. The evolution of playground equipment has been shaped ... Read more

Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Playground

Increasing access to playgrounds has provides numerous benefits for children of all ages. One of the biggest benefits of playground equipment is that it boosts the amount of physical activity kids get. Children are also more likely to use a park that has a playground, and those who visit a park that has recently installed or renovated playground equipment are more likely to be active (since the new equipment seems extra exciting!). These days, playgrounds are everywhere – and for good reason. A paper published in Active Living Research noted that there are more than 10,000 playgrounds located in major cities in the US. That figure doesn't include the many playgrounds found in schoolyards or parks in small towns or smaller cities in the country, but it’s clear to see that having a playground on your property increases engagement within the community, no matter what size town you’re in. Playgrounds have certainly evolved since their earliest days. According to the National Trust for Historical Preservation, playgrounds were uncommon at the beginning of the 20th century. People that did build them didn't design them for independent play. Instead, trained instructors used them as exercise centers or outdoor gymnasiums for children. These teachers ... Read more

Christ Community Church Upward Weekend

This playground, installed by Boland Recreation, was a part of Christ Community Church's capital campaign to pay off debt on phase 2 of their campus construction, make some campus improvements, and support some mission initiatives. The playground structure was built to provide a place for families to connect in relationship with each other while their kids play. Upward Weekend refers to the flag football and cheerleading program that the church has during the fall on Sunday afternoons. The playground becomes a great relational connecting point for families participating in Upward.   Read more

Reimagining Gadsdenboro Park

The new Gadsdenboro Park in Charleston, South Carolina celebrated its grand opening in May of 2015. The park features two custom playground structures by the Miracle Design Studio, working side-by-side with the landscape architects and Churchich Recreation and Design. The park has several other features that cater to visitors of all ages, including soccer fields, bench swings, paved walking paths and a bocce ball court. Gadsdenboro Park in Charleston, SC has not always been the beautiful destination that it is today. This 5-acre park, formerly known as Concord Park, resides at the center of a 10-acre parcel that is bordered by Calhoun, Concord, Laurens and Washington streets. Gadsdenboro Park is positioned in the center of a vibrant tourist area, sitting in close proximity to many of Charleston’s attractions, including the new site of the International African American Museum and the South Carolina Aquarium. The park is also directly across from the Charleston Maritime Center. It was the proximity to the ocean and Maritime Center as well as Charleston’s history and reliance on the rivers that inspired the nautical theme for the new playgrounds at Gadsdenboro Park. The site at Gadsdenboro Park had long sat vacant before the city devised the plan ... Read more

Miracle Recreation Invites Attendees to Experience the Thrill of the Playground at 2016 NRPA Annual Conference

  Zip Line-Inspired Gravity Rail on Display in Booth #2210 LOUIS, MO. (October 6, 2016) – Miracle Recreation, one of the nation’s leading companies in the design and manufacture of adventure playgrounds, will feature its newly introduced Gravity Rail, a zip line experience bringing the thrill back to the playground, at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Annual Conference in St. Louis (October 6-7, 2016). Miracle will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2017 and is kicking off the upcoming milestone at the show. Visitors to Miracle’s booth (#2210) will have the opportunity to engage in a rollercoaster-like experience with the Gravity Rail. Inspired by zip lines, the gliding structure features a downward slope with dips and curves adding momentum and excitement to the ride. Gravity Rail, designed for riders ages 5-12, works in two directions, eliminating the need to walk back to the start position, maximizing play time. Children can ride safely in the swing seat, requiring no harness or staff. The flexible design configuration allows the piece to fit seamlessly into any playground layout. “We’re excited to bring joy and excitement back to the playground with Gravity Rail at NRPA,” said Mike Sutton, Vice President of Sales - Outdoor for PlayPower, ... Read more
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