Connecting play and learning at Greater & Greener 2017

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More than 1,000 park leaders, city planners, design professionals, and urban park advocates came to Minneapolis and Saint Paul from around the world for Greater & Greener 2017: Parks Connecting Cities, Cultures, & Generations. The five-day indoor and outdoor conference focused on the role of urban parks in creating healthy, resilient and economically competitive cities.

In addition to being a Gold Sponsor of the Conference, we hosted two events throughout the week. On Sunday, July 30, we welcomed 40 volunteers from around the world to construct a playground at Central Village Park in St. Paul. The volunteer’s finished building commercial playground equipment for kids ages 5 to 12, a Clubhouse for kids ages 2 to 5 and playground panels, which featured Too Small to Fail‘s Talking is Teaching creative content with parent-child conversation prompts to foster healthy language-rich interactions.

 

On Tuesday, Aug. 1, we hosted a mobile workshop that showcased the most imaginative playgrounds in Minneapolis. Attendees heard from the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and community members about how the city encourages healthy outdoor activity, brings families together and builds community. Even more, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges joined the group at Powderhorn Park to share her commitment to cradle-to-K development and how the city is using the Talking is Teaching campaign to support early literacy in the city.

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Principals Build Playground at Pennsylvania Elementary School

Last Saturday, nearly 150 principals representing the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) came together to build a playground at Stonehurst Hills Elementary School in Upper Darby, Penn. The community service day was part of the 2017 National Principals Conference held in Philadelphia.

The playground was designed for students ages 5 to 12, and features the new GeoPlex™ climbing panels as well as various ground-level climbers, overhead ladders, and bridges and balancing activities. In addition to building the school playground, principals landscaped, painted and participated in other beautification projects at the school.

As you can see from the tweets, principals had a blast during the build. This is the ninth year that we’ve partnered with NAESP to build a playground at a deserving elementary school. Learn more about the NAESP Annual Conference and save the date: July 9-11, 2018 in Orlando, Fla.

What should consider when planning a playground design?

Planning the perfect playground environment for your school or park can be easy. Just keep in mind the following playground design characteristics to ensure you create a beautiful playground that is safe, fun and comfortable for all visitors:

Plan for multiple age groups in your playground design.

Neahwa Park, Oneonta, N.Y.

  • Age of visitors. Will you have multiple age groups visiting your playground? If so, plan to include a playground structure specifically for 2- to 5-year-olds as well as kids ages 5 to 12.
  • Playground accessibility. If your community has individuals of varying abilities, consider designing an inclusive playground that welcomes everyone including children with and without disabilities, parents with strollers, aging grandparents, wounded warriors, etc.
  • Design elements. We can
    Create a unique playground theme for your community park.

    Harry Thomas Sr. Playspace, Washington, D.C.

    create a unique playground theme that incorporates historical characteristics from your community, specific color schemes, or school or city logos into your playground design.

  • Additional amenities. If your playground gets hot, you may want to include shade. Would your community use and benefit from the inclusion of HealthBeat® outdoor fitness equipment? Benches and trash receptacles are great amenities to include as well.
  • Installation. We have a few installation options available including community playground build, professional installation or a blend of both.
Create an active community by including the HealthBeat® outdoor fitness system into your playground design.

Inspiration Park, Delano, Minn.

Contact your local playground consultant to request our Playground Planning Guide, and then let the dreaming, planning and designing begin! We’ll work together with you to bring your vision into focus.

Principals help create better school playgrounds in California

Elementary and middle school principals from across the country gathered on Monday, June 29, to participate in the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) seventh annual Community Service Day. The service projects included a school playground build at James A. Garfield Elementary School in Long Beach, Calif., and a beautification project at Charles W. Bursch Elementary School in Compton, Calif.

Principals worked together to build new school playground equipment.

We installed new elementary school playground equipment in Long Beach that will invite students ages 5 to 12 to spend time outdoors being active while also encouraging interaction among peers. The PlayBooster® playground structure delivers a variety of play components including climbers, playground slides, overhead events and sensory play panels. In addition to the playground build, a team of principals planted flowers and painted a mural to create a playful atmosphere at the Compton school playground.

Principals beautify school playgrounds in California.

Learn more about NAESP’s Annual Conference, and see how we’re working together to create more inclusive school playgrounds throughout the nation.

Video Case Study: Community playground builds

There’s something particularly satisfying about watching kids run, jump and climb on a playground built by a community. As you begin the playground planning process, consider making your project a community build. Not only can it help save costs, but it also brings neighbors and communities closer together. Watch the video below to see how Annandale Elementary School in Annandale, Minn., and their local Lions Club worked together to build new school playgrounds.

Learn more about community playground builds at playlsi.com, and contact your local playground consultant to request our Guide to Community Build Playgrounds.