Fresh play experiences with freestanding play

ZipKrooz™ is the first inclusive zip line for playgrounds.

Are you designing a new playground or freshening up an existing play space? Don’t forget to include freestanding play components! Playground activities set apart from a main play structure allows kids to step away for some quiet time or break into smaller play groups. Better yet, freestanding play components can bring children of all abilities and ages into the same space for collaborative play.

The TopsyTurny® spinner brings together children of all abilities for spinning fun. The Oodle® Swing delivers swinging fun to multiple children at once.

We have a wide variety of freestanding play events including the ZipKrooz™, TopsyTurny® and OmniSpin® spinners, Oodle® Swing, We-saw™ and a variety of playground net climbers. Even more, we have a line of nature-inspired products that can be included into your playground. Or you can create an outdoor learning environment by positioning a few pieces together. Watch below to see how B.T. Washington Elementary School in Tampa, Fla., designed their nature-inspired outdoor classroom.

Tell us how you’ve incorporated freestanding play into your playground designs. Then visit to see our full offering of freestanding play components.

ROCKing in Las Vegas

At the National Recreation & Park Association’s Annual Conference earlier this week in Las Vegas, we ROCKED the exhibit hall! Our booth space featured The Canyon Collection™ and a customized Netplex™ in our new colors, plus we had rock star cardboard cutouts, root beer kegs and Pop Rocks.

The Canyon Collection™ helped us ROCK the exhibit hall at NRPA.

Visits to our booth were met with our nature-inspired climbers, which enticed many to test out their rock-climbing skills. All that play combined with Pop Rocks took attendees back to days from their youth! On Tuesday night, we rocked the Exhibit Hall Reception with karaoke, margaritas in light-up glasses and lots of photo ops. It was so much fun, Elvis even stopped by to sing!

From nature-inspired climbers to Elvis, Las Vegas didn't disappoint.

We had a great time in Las Vegas visiting with park and recreation professionals, hearing from industry experts and taking in all that the city has to offer. Our employees and playground consultants are already looking forward to the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference in St. Louis!

Get ready to ROCK Las Vegas!

Join us in Las Vegas for the NRPA Annual Conference.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone next week at the NRPA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. If you’re attending, join us for the following events:

  1. Exhibit Hall. Do you wanna ROCK? Then visit us in booth #847 on Tuesday and Wednesday as we rock the playground!
  2. Exhibit Hall Reception. Join us Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in booth #847 for a specialty cocktail. We’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ all night!
  3. Education Sessions. Join John McConkey, Ingrid M. Kanics, and our past clients to learn about the following:
    • The Power of Green Infrastructure Playgrounds: Engagement, Education and Stewardship – Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in Breakers I.
    • All Ages, All Abilities: Are Your Parks Socially Sustainable? – Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 9:45 a.m. in Breakers E.
    • Evidence-Based Landscape Design: Pilot Study of Children with Developmental Disorders – Thursday, Sept. 17, at 10:45 a.m. in Breakers K.

Case Study: An adventure in nature

Tom Sawyer Island at Amelia Earhart ParkClient: Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Miami, Fla.

Designers: Karen Cheney, landscape architect at Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces

Goal: Create a “play-in-the-woods” experience to reconnect kids to the natural environment

Solution: To create a nature-inspired play experience, the posts of the Netplex™ and PlayBooster® playground structures are custom printed to look like tree bark and recycled wood-grain lumber panels were used. Custom oak leaf balance boards, mushroom steppers and a log balance beam enhance the nature play theme and deliver challenge disguised as fun. In addition to the play environment, Karen renovated the grade separation to be a concrete gravity wall that she envisioned as a balance beam for children as well as a resting area for visitors.

Bouncer_TomSawyer_blog SmartPlay_TomSawyer_Blog AcornSeat_TomSawyer_Blog

Visit to read more about how Karen and the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces department designed a prescription for nature deficit at Tom Sawyer Island at Amelia Earhart Park, and watch the video below.

Choosing the right outdoor fitness equipment for your community

Create an active community by including the HealthBeat® outdoor fitness system into your playground design.

Everyone seems to be talking about the importance of community wellness lately. The good news is that your park can do something to help improve it. Offering outdoor fitness equipment is a great way to increase park usage while also increasing the health of your community. Keep in mind these four considerations when purchasing outdoor fitness equipment:

HealthBeat® Tai Chi Wheels

  1. Create an inclusive environment. Welcome teens and adults of all abilities to workout together with fitness equipment that is accessible and easily understood by first-time users.
  2. Meet the needs of all fitness levels. Look for outdoor fitness equipment that will meet users at their level—whether that’s beginner or advanced.
  3. Offer a variety of workouts. Provide equipment that targets various fitness areas such as muscle strength, cardiovascular health and balance/flexibility.
  4. Design to fit your environment. Consider where your outdoor fitness equipment will get the most use—along a walking trail, next to the playground or ball field, or at a senior living community—and make sure the equipment’s size and aesthetic will fit the environment.

HealthBeat® Elliptical

Check out the refreshed, contemporary design of the HealthBeat® outdoor fitness system, which fits the above criteria. Our resistance technology delivers a better workout, and signage includes links to instructional videos that can be viewed on a smart device while at each fitness station. Learn more at

Safety is our top priority

Kids are always finding new and inventive ways to play on or around playground equipment. And while they may scrape an elbow or bruise a shin, it’s important to take steps to eliminate the risk of more serious mishaps. We make playground safety a top priority, and we’ll help you keep kids safe with our age-appropriate commercial playground equipment:

We have commercial playground equipment to meet the needs of all age groups.

  • With the infant slide, appropriately sized climbers and other playground equipment designed for 6- to 23-month-olds, infants and toddlers gain strength, stability and motor skills, along with a host of other physical and cognitive skills.
  • Preschoolers are developing physical play and are thinking more creatively. We have many playground designs that offer age-appropriate play elements that test motor skills, strength and agility of kids ages 2 to 5.
  • School-aged kids need physical and mental challenges while they play. Our commercial playground equipment for 5- to 12-year-olds help them develop balance, coordination, muscle endurance, problem-solving skills, social skills and much more.
  • Even kids in middle school love to stay active through play. We offer a wide variety of playground activities that meet the needs of this group to keep them engaged and challenged. From Aeronet® Climbers to Skatewave® Skatepark equipment and the HealthBeat® Outdoor Fitness System, you’ll find choices that this hard-to-please age group will love.

Keep kids safe on the playground with safety surfacing and playground shade.

Even more, our playground safety surfacing will help keep kids safe from falls and our CoolToppers® shade systems will help protect them from harmful UV rays. Learn more about our commitment to playground safety at

Promoting literacy through inclusive playground designs

Thanks to the collaboration of some very hard-working organizations, there is a new inclusive playground ready to welcome children and families of all abilities. On Saturday, July 11, Shane’s Inspiration along with First 5 LA, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Too Small to Fail and the Exceptional Children’s Foundation hosted a grand opening to celebrate the new Landscape Structures inclusive playground at Sepulveda Recreation Center in Panorama City, Calif.

Sepulveda Recreation Center is home to the first playground with the Talking is Teaching campaign.

The playground offers a train theme with custom play structures that mimic a train depot and train cars, and all of the structures are designed to welcome children of varying abilities. Even more, this playground is the first in the country to highlight Too Small to Fail’s “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign to boost children’s early language development. The playground at Sepulveda Recreation Center incorporated the Talking is Teaching materials into playground signage to prompt fun conversations, stories and songs while parents and children play together.

The playground design at Sepulveda Recreation Center welcomes children and families of all abilities.

We’re proud to collaborate with Shane’s Inspiration and Too Small to Fail to support families build a foundation of early literacy skills and help close the word gap. Learn more about our commitment to the Too Small to Fail initiative.