Playground Development Tips

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Making Playgrounds Accessible & Inclusive for All

  After reading an interesting article from a mother frustrated with the accessibility options of a new playground in her community, it reminds us all to keep accessibility and inclusive play at the forefront of our minds when designing our playground equipment. Commercial playground equipment manufacturers today have taken great steps forward in providing new and exciting options that cater to children with a wide range of challenges, whether it be physical, mental or social.  It is our responsibility as community members and mentors to provide a play space that promotes inclusive play for all children. Providing accessibility to playground equipment entails more than just complying with minimum accessibility requirements, standards and laws. It means providing a play space where children of all abilities can experience play together.  With all of the resources and options out there today, there is no reason our playground equipment can’t be exciting for all children. Playground equipment manufacturers have recently introduced a barrage of new ADA products including double wide ramps, accessible merry-go-rounds, therapeutic swing seats, and sensory panels that feature sound, music, and interaction.  Plus, more exciting options are becoming available every day! Not all of us our experts on accessibility, and we don’t have to be.  ... Read more

Spring is Coming! Is Your Playground Ready?

Days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and it’s that time of year when everyone is itching to get outside, especially children.   Now that Spring is almost here, have you taken the steps to make sure your outdoor playground equipment is safe and ready for use? Every park, school, and recreation department should have a maintenance schedule in place for their playground equipment.  This includes checking for appropriate surfacing levels, loose hardware, evidence of vandalism, and any and all items that could pose a safety threat to children when using the playground equipment. Many playground safety websites offer comprehensive checklists that can be used to ensure every item on the playground meets certain safety criteria.  Playground maintenance and repair can seem like a daunting task. Don’t be afraid to ask for volunteers and encourage community involvement in your park and playground upkeep. If your playground is looking a little worse for the wear and posing safety threats that aren’t an easy fix, it might be time to consider investing in new equipment.  Many older playgrounds are not compliant with current safety rules and regulations, by investing in new equipment you can ensure your playground equipment is safe and accessible for ... Read more

Tips & Tools to Help You Make Your Dream of a New Playground a Reality

Many school districts, park associations, churches and camps around the globe are dreaming and hoping of the day they can install their new playground equipment.  Whether you are replacing a rusty, old playground, or adding a new one, playgrounds can be costly.  But there are many tools out there today that can help make that dream a reality. Most of us are aware of the statistics surrounding childhood obesity and the push for national programs to improve the health of our children across the nation.  What you may not know is that there are many programs out there that can help you gain funding for your commercial playground equipment. FUNDRAISING If you’re serious about getting that new playground, don’t stop there.  Your local community can play an integral role in making the dream of a new playground a reality. Start by marketing your efforts and telling your community about your goals and how it can impact the children in their neighborhood, school etc.  Get help from your commercial playground equipment provider.  Many of them offer fundraising programs that include marketing materials, fundraising management, and goal tracking websites. Read more

Playground Security

Playgrounds are meant to be areas where children can have fun, get exercise and socialize.  However, as many park owners are aware, playgrounds can sometimes also provide an environment for crime and vandalism that can be costly to prevent and repair. With all of the news stories and articles regarding playground crime vandalism, it’s easy to become discouraged about the safety of your playground or park.  Playground security is an important subject that should be addressed, and there are steps that can be taken to help make your playgrounds and recreation areas safe. Commercial playground equipment can be a significant investment and vandalism can cost owners thousands of dollars each year in repairs.  Since vandalism commonly takes place after hours, it is important to install security features during times when your park or playground is not in use.  Lighting is an effective measure in deterring crime and vandalism, as well as video monitoring. With certain security equipment, such as the MiracleTechTM security products from Miracle Recreation, motion or dusk-to-dawn sensors can trigger lighting and video to turn on, making it easy for park managers to maintain. If your playground seems to be a popular after-hours teen hangout, or a place for unsavory ... Read more

Playground Fundraising

It’s no secret that in today’s economic climate everyone is spending less.  Parks, schools, and churches are no exception.  So where can you find the funds to help make your playground a reality?  Miracle Recreation offers a FunRaising program that can play an integral part in helping you organize an effort to raise funds for your project. Fundraising can be extremely successful when given the tools to execute it properly.  With Miracle, our representatives can provide a customized program designed specifically for you.  Our programs utilize both food and non-food programs, with up to 50% profit and free shipping for all purchases.  Plus, we will be there to assist you before, during and after the fundraiser, providing you with free brochures, letters, and a customized website for your project that will allow donors to submit donations using major credit cards or PayPal.  Here is an example of a recent website fundraiser that was done for Joplin: http://www.miraclefunraising.com/playgrounds4joplin/ Marketing your project is an important step to maximize your results, and our Miracle representatives can help in that area as well.  Once you have decided the scope of your commercial playground equipment and its features, Miracle will provide a professional 3D rendering of ... Read more

Playgrounds Provide Myriad Developmental Benefits for Children

Although a school playground may just seem like fun, an array of benefits come from children spending time with other kids using playground equipment. The positive effects of a school or park playground go far beyond the obvious ones, like physical exercise. Playgrounds can actually provide essential experiences and development for children in areas as diverse as social skills, creativity, problem solving, reasoning and more. The benefits that a simple trip to the playground can provide are often more profound and far-reaching than those that even the most sophisticated modern teaching-based technologies can provide. Understanding What Play is In order to decipher what benefits playgrounds can provide for children, it’s helpful to first understand exactly what play is and how it helps children develop. Play allows kids to learn a range of skills, including: coordination and motor skills, cognitive skills, social acumen, language and more. Doctors, scientists from psychologists to biologists, and educators have all conducted research that proves this critical fact: Without being able to play, children may develop the aforementioned skills at a severely stunted rate. Just like eating and sleeping each day, play is completely necessary for a child to develop necessary skills at a healthy rate. Humans ... Read more

The Most Popular School Playground Games

There are so many games that children play on the school playground or at the Neighborhood park, many of which have been played for generations and some that are new for this generation of youngsters. Kids love playing, whether it’s at recess, afterschool, on the weekend or all summer long. There are games kids play on the playground equipment, whether it’s making believe they’re in a castle or mountain climbing. Kids have such active imaginations, though, that they can play games even when there’s nothing but asphalt blacktop or a sidewalk to play on. Games help kids stay in shape, develop their creative abilities and build social skills—what could be better? Top Kids Games in the United States It would be impossible to list all the different games that kids play on the school or park playground, especially when you consider all the children’s games from around the world. The following list, however, includes many of the most popular games that children currently play in the United States: Dodge Ball Double Dutch Heads Up Seven Up Hopscotch I Spy Jacks Jump Rope Kick Ball Tag Red Rover Mother, May I Red Light, Green Light The Benefits of Kids Games With the obesity problem in America, active games that utilize playground equipment, jump ropes and/or ... Read more