Shaping play in Indy

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Late last month, we were excited to be in Indianapolis for the National Recreation & Park Association’s Annual Conference. Our booth space featured the Alpha® Tower and Friendship® Swing, while the nearby Aquatix booth showcased the CanopyCluster, HydroHelix, ground sprays and lots more.

On Tuesday night, we hosted an event for customers at Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team. With lawn games, a photo booth, and food and drinks, we all had a great time playing and celebrating the work parks and recreation professionals do to shape the lives of kids through play.

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Celebrating the All Stars of the Miracle League

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Last weekend, the Miracle League, an organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for children with mental and/or physical challenges to play baseball, hosted its Inaugural Miracle League All-Star Celebration. Representatives from 26 states and a Canadian province made their way to Findlay, Ohio, for the event.

On Saturday, Sept. 15, 90 Miracle League players participated in four baseball games at the Blanchard Valley Health System Miracle Park. The celebration showcased the success and impact that the Miracle League has on children and families of all abilities. Miracle Leagues across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia are creating environments that encourage teamwork, competition and inclusion.

Read more about the inaugural event here.

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Contribute to children’s development with well-designed playgrounds

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Child development experts tell us that what looks like mere child’s play is preparation for a successful adult life–as vital as learning to walk and talk. But few studies have examined patterns of play on specific playground equipment to assess how these play spaces might shape children’s development. To find out, we commissioned an observational study in partnership with the University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development.

Children demonstrated key developmental skills in a variety of ways, with behaviors often linked to specific types of equipment. For example, children’s gross motor play—seen on swings, slides, overhead events and climbers—may contribute to physical development. Imaginative play has been linked to language development, social competence and self-regulation. Even waiting in line requires children to take turns and consider others’ needs. To request a complete copy of the research whitepaper, go to playlsi.com/whitepapers.

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Our observations showed that well-designed play spaces contribute to the development of children. By helping them learn and practice key life skills, great playgrounds help children grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults. Watch our video below that brings the WHY of what we do to life.

Principals celebrate 10 years of playground builds during NAESP

On Sunday, more than 100 of the nation’s elementary school principals came together to build a playground at Catalina Elementary School in Orlando, Fla. The playground build is part of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Community Service Day, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

The playground was designed for students ages 5 to 12, and features playground slides, climbers, and activity panels in addition to overhead events and bridges. The playground is ADA compliant and was designed to welcome children of all abilities. In addition to building the playground, principal volunteers will do landscaping, painting, and other beautification projects at the school.

As you can see from the tweets, principals had a blast during the 10th anniversary build. Other build locations throughout the years include Tampa, Seattle, Long Beach and Compton, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Prince George’s County, Md. Learn more about the NAESP Annual Conference and save the date: July 10-12, 20198 in Spokane, Wash.

The best of 2017

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You came. You read. And now we’re sharing our five most read blog posts of 2017.

  1. Decline in children’s play time shown in new study
    According to our recent poll, more than half of parents think that children today have fewer opportunities for play than children 20 years ago.
  2. Five considerations for your toddler and preschool playgrounds
    To help you create a dream playground for your daycare or preschool that focuses on toddlers’ developmental needs in mind, we created a fun infographic.
  3. Exciting, new products for your 2017 playground designs
    We introduced exciting new commercial playground products—GeoPlex™, Nook, Loft and more—to help create playground designs that shape kids’ lives.
  4. A fresh look for your playground
    Add a cool aesthetic (and an extra layer of protection) to your playground that will look great in any environment—urban, sculptural, modern, industrial—with the new HDG Series!
  5. Exploring nature on the playground
    There are myriad benefits to kids playing outdoors. That’s why we design nature-inspired playground equipment that helps connect kids to the natural world.

Thank you for tuning in to Together We Play in 2017. We’re looking forward to an exciting year of play; tell us below what you’d like to see more of in 2018 and we’ll do our best to share it here.

Happy Holidays

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At this special time of year, we’d like to thank you for collaborating with us. Together we’re creating more than just playgrounds. We’re creating opportunities for imagination. Opportunities for children and families to celebrate each other… similarities and differences. Together, we’re helping build the leaders of tomorrow.

Thank you for all you do to create the next generation of great citizens.

For a better tomorrow, we play today.

Invigorated because of play

We were proud to offer the Nebraska Recreation & Parks Association (NeRPA) a Speaker Scholarship for the 2017 State Conference to support its members’ professional development. Today, we’re happy to have Amanda English, recreation supervisor for City of Omaha Parks & Recreation, as our guest blogger sharing how she’s #shapedbyplay.