Our approach to design and play hasn’t changed. And that means everything keeps changing. It’s why designers discover ingenious ways to create new, innovative landscape environments. Together, we’ll create environments to be newly fresh and exciting upon every visit. Because that’s what creates return visitors. By design.
We build unique play value into each design. The result is layers of possibility, the development of new skills and an opportunity to evolve with children’s changing needs. See all the unique designs of the 2022 PLAY Book in action below.
For us, design refers to what a playstructure looks like as much as it does to the play value built into it. We simply cannot design one without the other. Play value is what creates return visitors. That’s why we design play environments to be fresh and exciting upon every visit. Go here to view and request a copy of the 2021 PLAY Book.
Deliver a hive of activity that sparks the imagination, facilitates discovery and lends itself to new adventure. See a few of the signature playground designs from our 2021 PLAY Book in action below.
Play is powerful. It instills important values like leadership, perseverance and cooperation in kids. That’s why we design playgrounds that add value to kids’ experiences, and bring individuals of all ages and abilities together for play. Play is everything, and no matter our age, we come back to what we know… Play will always shape us.
We are proud to lead the conversation about the power of play with this video, and want to help you lead the conversation in your communities. Request a download of our Video Discussion Guide here.
Help us spread the important message heard in this video by sharing it with your family, friends and colleagues on social media. And be sure to tell us how play has shaped your life using #shapedbyplay.
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:
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.
When it comes to playgrounds, color is just as important to a child’s learning environment as the play structure itself. To create a sensory-rich playground environment for children, we spent the past year researching outdoor environments and working with chemists to create color formulas in nature-inspired hues and tones. The new colors—Berry, Buttercup, Carbon, Grass, Lagoon, Paprika, Peacock and Sky—are designed to enhance a child’s play experience.
The benefits of these innovative colors are numerous:
Nature-inspired colors allow children to engage in a playground design that creates a calming experience. This is because tones that reflect the outdoors are familiar to children. For example, we wanted the tone Buttercup to relay the feeling of playing a field of flowers.
Unlike the average toy, which is meant to drive visually loud experiences, natured-inspired playground colors help children focus. This is particularly beneficial for children with sensory processing disorders who often seek soothing environments, and the tones Sky and Peacock are meant to replicate the calming sense of sky gazing or playing in a garden.
Our new color line intentionally adds a metallic fleck to a matte finish for a richer finish that creates texture and offers a tactile play experience.
We’re proud to be able to work with landscape architects to create innovative playground designs. Whether it’s a curvy, sprawling design of playground nets, an environment that teaches kids about the history of their community, or a themed playground that sends kids on an adventure in their imagination, playgrounds designed by landscape architects become spaces that welcome individuals of all ages, abilities and cultures.
We love the result of collaborating with landscape architects, but their designs go way beyond parks and playgrounds. See projects “Designed By A Landscape Architect” by following #wlam2015 on social media, then visit asla.org to learn more about World Landscape Architecture Month and the landscape architecture profession.
In June, we awarded the Iola Kiwanis club in Iola, Kan., $25,000 in playground equipment as part of the Make a Difference Through Play contest. Since winning, they’ve been busy with plans, and we’re happy to share another update from Michael Ford, member of Iola Kiwanis and community resource officer for the Iola Police Department.
When our playground consultant from ATHCO, LLC visited with us to discuss the inclusive playground design, five representatives from the M.O.M.S. group were at the meeting along with the school’s physical therapist and a couple of Kiwanis members. We all paged through the Landscape Structures catalog—the moms focused on products that might specifically help their kids—and the rest of us picked out items that we thought we be fun for all kids.
L to R: Marble Panel™, Xylofun Panel® and Bongo Panel
Some of the moms focused on including sensory panels because they figured that even though their children might not have a lot of muscle strength to climb or hang from overhead events, they can still participate and have fun. And I don’t know what kid isn’t going to enjoy beating on Bongo Drums or playing on a Xylophone, which is what some of the panels included. Another popular item was the Marble Panel™, which one mom whose child with vision problems picked out. The light shines through the marbles to engage kids’ sight, plus it offers a unique tactile experience.
As a parent of kids without special needs, I never thought about sensory items as part of the playground, but now I see that it’s very important. And it’s important for the development of all kids. That, to me, is how we’re providing a truly inclusive play space.
While the moms focused on sensory-rich activities, the physical therapist thought more about what kids—with and without special needs—need for building strength. She chose climbers that would engage kids’ full bodies. And she thought the Roller Table™ would be great for kids that don’t have any lower body strength, as they can lie down and pull themselves through.
The design process has been very educational for us. The Cozy Dome®, which I just looked at as a fort or climber, can also be beneficial for children with autism to use as a “time-out” space if they get overstimulated. It was quite the learning experience to look at these playground products from a different point of view.
After that first meeting, our playground consultant came back with a design that we all liked. The design is final; however, if we exceed our fundraising goal we’d love to add more inclusive playground pieces to the design.
Stay tuned for another update from Michael next month. He’ll talk more about the importance of inclusive play to the community of Iola.
Personalization adds a unique element to playgrounds, and it also lets you show your school spirit! Versailles Elementary School in Versailles, Ohio, went all out to show their support for the Tigers. By incorporating their school colors—orange and gray—and a couple of personalized panels showing their school mascot, there is no doubt to anyone that visits the playground that it is the home of the Tigers.
Not only can we help you create an entirely personalized playground like Versailles Elementary, but we can add any level of personalization to best meet your needs. From a personalized welcome sign to playground panels with your school name, motto or mascot, or a customized freestanding play component, we’ll help make your school playground design your own.
We are exhibiting in booth 921, and invite attendees to stop by. Our custom design team, with experience that ranges from building large-scale parade floats to sculpting highly detailed items for the Smithsonian, will be on-site to talk about how we use design sessions to uncover customers’ needs in order to create a personalized playground design. Visitors can also put their artistic and design abilities to use to create their own personalized takeaway. Stop in and say hi; we’ll have coffee, chocolate and apples to celebrate the Green Apple Day of Service.
In addition to our exhibit space, we’re proud to support the landscape architecture profession by sponsoring the opening general session on Saturday morning. The session will feature Charles Fishman, an award-winning investigative journalist, who will speak about the history and future of water. He’ll also discuss his travels around the globe—from Las Vegas to New Delhi—to uncover how the world of water is changing and how it will affect society.
That same night, the ASLA/Landscape Structures Gala: Boots, Bandanas and Bolos will close-out the annual meeting. The event is at Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds, and is sure to be a great time. Our employees and playground consultants that are attending have their cowboy boots ready, and are looking forward to the Mariachi band, fajita buffet dinner, carnival games, and music and dancing.