Exploring nature on the playground

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We know that improved concentration and school achievement, reduced stress levels and a foundation of environmental stewardship are just a few of the benefits that kids receive from playing outdoors. That’s why we’re committed to designing nature-inspired commercial playground equipment that gets kids outside for play and reconnecting with the natural world around them.

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If you’re designing a playground or outdoor learning environment, you have an opportunity to create a space that encourages kids (and their families) to be outside and reconnect with nature. Use the following tips to plan for your nature-inspired playground:

  • Use vegetation as shade rather than cutting down trees or shrubs
  • Take into account topography and natural features and incorporate them into the play experience
  • Choose natural looking playground equipment that meets safety standards, fits the needs of your users and easily blends into your community
  • Create educational signage to teach visitors about the native plants and animals

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We think the great outdoors is the best place for kids to play. They can run around freely, make up their own games, explore nature and so much more. It’s fun for kids of all ages and the benefits to kids’ bodies, minds and spirits are numerous! Learn more about nature-themed playgrounds.

Go Beyond

2017 PLAY Book

Everything is possible when you go beyond. From big to small. Wide to tall. Modern to traditional. Subtle to overt. Wacky to refined. Dream like a child, create like an expert. Go beyond with custom.

West Commons Playground at Central Park, Carmel, Ind.

West Commons Playground at Central Park, Carmel, Ind.

Let’s collaborate on your next playground project! From one-of-a-kind designed playgrounds to a Cinderella-like pumpkin carriage, nature-inspired playstructures and a design that represents the history of communities, you can find inspiration in our 2017 PLAY Book.

River Oaks Park, Houston, Texas

River Oaks Park, Houston, Texas

Request your copy of the 2017 PLAY Book, and learn how we’ll collaborate with you to create custom and themed gathering spaces that your entire community will enjoy.

The Canyon Collection™, landscape architects ROCKED Chicago

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At the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting & Expo last weekend in Chicago, we ROCKED the exhibit hall! Our booth space featured The Canyon Collection™ and a customized Netplex™ in our new colors and the HealthBeat® Chest/Back Press and Elliptical stations.

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Visitors 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. In addition to our booth, we were proud to sponsor the Opening General Session featuring creators of the PBS series, 10 Parks That Changed America. We also sponsored the Edible Landscape Celebration, which included healthy, locally sourced and heirloom foods, dancing and a Blues Brothers tribute!

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Even more, we were excited to celebrate our President Pat Faust, who was presented with an Honorary Membership in ASLA. This honor is given to non-landscape architects for their commitment to the landscape architecture profession.

We had a great time in Chicago 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 ASLA Annual Meeting in New Orleans!

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 playlsi.com 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!

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.

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Visit playlsi.com 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.