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

GeoPlex® - new in 2017

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.

Helping create memories

We were proud to offer the New Hampshire Recreation & Park Association (NHRPA) a Speaker Scholarship for the 2017 State Conference to support its members’ professional development. Today, we’re happy to have Greg Bisson, assistant director for Exeter Parks and Recreation, as our guest blogger discussing how NHRPA and its members are enhancing children’s lives through play.

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New Hampshire Recreation and Park Association is made up of municipal park and recreation professionals whose purpose is to promote and advocate the development and administration of recreation and park services through educational sessions, meetings, seminars, and conferences to improve recreation and park activities and facilities in New Hampshire. These support and training opportunities help members develop the skills necessary to enhance children’s lives through play.

Our members continued pursuit of improving the quality of life for children is a staple of our organization. Three pillars—programs, facilities and community—help shape the lives of children. Without programs and facilities, the children in New Hampshire would be hard-pressed to find a safe environment in which to participate. The rural landscape with a few urban centers makes our state difficult to navigate children’s recreation. However, our determined professionals find ways to connect children and families and create community. Our members practice what they preach; they work hard and play harder, and enjoy all of what New Hampshire has to offer. While our state is unique geographically—the ocean, mountains and large cities are just a short drive away—our members continue to find new ways to enjoy our region and promote all it has to offer.

During our state conference, Keynote Speaker Steve Maguire brought his passion for recreation, especially summer camps. After a long summer, our members needed someone to recharge their batteries. And Steve did exactly that! His passion along with his expertise gave members the lift they needed. He challenged us to be better at our jobs, and encouraged us to strive to be memorable. This is what all parks and recreation professionals need to do. Help children and families create memories.

Taking #shapedbyplay on the road

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: We are all shaped by play. We feel so strongly about this message that we took it on the road to the 2017 NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans and ASLA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

Our booth spaces at both shows perfectly illustrated how we are all shaped by play. From showcasing those three words front and center to the photos of kids on our playground equipment, shade structures and aqua play products, the tree featuring artwork from local school kids and fun swag, we encouraged all visitors to consider how they were shaped by play.

Continue to share how you’re shaped by play and how you’re helping to build the leaders of tomorrow through play using #shapedbyplay. For a little inspiration, check out our video below.