Continuing Education

Continuing Education for Professionals

Our Continuing Education (CE) courses are available either pre-recorded through our Learning Management System or live through Zoom. Get started creating inclusive, awe-inspiring play solutions by selecting an option below.

On-Demand Courses  Live Zoom Courses

Accreditation

As an approved provider through ASLA’s Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES), we offer free courses with accreditation* for landscape architects and other professionals. Courses are approved for LA CES 1.0 PDH accreditation.

*To receive accreditation, you must pass the quiz at the end of each course.

On-Demand Courses

Our Learning Management System allows you to learn at your own pace with all on-demand courses available at any time. For first time users, select “Sign-Up” to register. For returning users, select “Log In” and enter your credentials. To review available courses, select “View Course Descriptions”.

Sign Up   View Course Descriptions   Log In

Live Courses:

Sign up for one of our upcoming live CE courses below.

Youth Participating in Playground Design – March 23rd @ 1PM ET

Engaging youth in the playground design process can empower youth and create a more meaningful design. But, most of all, it is fun! This workshop will review how engaging youth in playground design can benefit the project, youth, and community. We will present several strategies and activities for engaging youth of different ages in different phases of the design process.

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

– Explain how engaging youth in a playground design project can improve a project and help build human and social capital.
– List key strategies for planning a successful youth engagement process.
– Identify appropriate youth engagement activities based on the design phase and the youths’ ages.

Speaker:
Katherine Melcher is an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design. She teaches courses in community design, social theory and design, healthy places, and urban design. Her research interests span landscape architecture theory and the social aspects of design, with a special focus on participatory design. She is a licensed landscape architect with over fifteen years of experience in community-based development and design. Her work focuses on the interaction between design and community needs, particularly participatory design processes and community places. Her projects include parks, playgrounds, schoolyards, streetscapes, and pedestrian and bicycle trails.

 

Sign Up

__

__

On-Demand Course Descriptions:

All on-demand courses are previously recorded.

Combatting Trauma with Playful Spaces

All children deserve to grow, play, and thrive in a safe environment. Unfortunately, the society within which we all live is filled with places, conditions, and emotional stresses that attack our safe places. Children who have experienced trauma and toxic stress require sensitively designed play/recreational environments to minimize the impacts of the attacks from adverse childhood experiences. Trauma-informed design is an emerging field focused on supporting the environmental and psychological needs of trauma victims and survivors. This presentation will focus on the aspects of design that can help this demographic thrive despite the challenges they face.

Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the breadth, nature, and impact of trauma on children in our current society.
  • Discuss trauma-informed principles for outdoor play/recreation space design that help combat and minimize negative impacts of trauma.
  • Show real world examples of design that supports physical, psychological, cognitive, and social development for children who have or are experiencing trauma.

Back to Top

 

Community Engagement: A Case Study

Kids Cove in Marquette, MI, USA had been a beloved playground for two generations. When it needed to be replaced, many people in the community were disappointed to see it go away. A group of volunteers identified the need for an inclusive playground in the community. The City agreed to the plan if the volunteers led the fundraising and planning. In less than 20 months, the group hired a landscape architecture team, brought the community around to the idea of a new playground, created a design with input from many constituency groups, and raised over $1 million.

In this previously recorded course, we’ve interviewed three community members to learn how a group of volunteers in the upper peninsula of Michigan was able to accomplish what they did –  how they used crowdfunding to finish their campaign, and how the strong partnership between the architecture team and the volunteers was crucial to the success of their project.

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how an architecture team can help the community solicit input from different constituency groups.
  • Understand the pros and cons of undertaking a project in a small community with a 26% poverty rate.
  • Identify apps, programs, and ideas that can assist in getting the community involved in the project.

Back to Top

 

Creating Extraordinary Playgrounds

What does it take to create an extraordinary playground? What strategies should you put into place so that your newest playground is visited by families from the neighborhood and from the next county over? In this previously recorded course , we will show a variety of built playgrounds. We will see how playgrounds fit into bigger settings; how theming makes a statement; how surfacing or one or two pieces of unique equipment can make something ordinary, or extraordinary; and how creating multi-generational and/or inclusive playgrounds draws families from all over.

Outcomes:

At the end of this presentation, you will be able to

  • Discuss how water play, height, and unique equipment can help create an extraordinary playground.
  • Identify small details that can take an ordinary playground to an extraordinary one.
  • Explain how playgrounds that reach the widest audience can often be extraordinary ones.
  • Understand the importance of child development when designing a playground

Back to Top

 

Creating Intriguing Outdoor Playground Spaces

The design of outdoor space influences how children use their environments for play, exploration, and learning. Outdoor spaces and places that children have access to require examination from a variety of perspectives to determine what the space “says” to children. This previously recorded course is taught by a lead researcher on projects focused on examining strategies to advance children’s outdoor play through space design.

Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Examine space designs that support outdoor pedagogy and influence playground design.
  • Discuss why playground designs are examined from multiple lens.
  • Highlight how environmental attributes such as surfacing, topography and paths and wayfinding contribute to triggering children’s ideas and decisions about how to play in the space.

Back to Top

 

Increasing Play Value with Playground Surfacing

Safety and accessibility surfacing is required in all playgrounds. The surfacing uses a significant portion of the playground budget. So, the question is, “how do you get more bang for your buck?” It is easy to increase the play value of the playground by adding designs, games, and undulations with the surfacing. Surfacing can help tell the story of your playground as well as provide important wayfinding details. In this previously recorded course , we explored how unitary surfacing can be used to transform an ordinary playground into one that the entire community is talking about.

Outcomes:

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • List strategies to use surfacing to create more play value.
  • Use surfacing to complement a wayfinding system and communicate about safety.
  • Identify the pros and cons of detailed surfacing designs

Back to Top

 

Piaget and the Playground: Adding learning to the playground

The benefits of playing on a playground are well known. Children can get exercise, building up their core gross muscles, and practicing balancing as well as other physical play skills. Children make friends, practice cooperative play, and other social play skills. The playground is full of sensory play experiences from spinning to touching to jumping to hearing to seeing. What hasn’t been explored as much as physical, sensory, and social play, are Piaget’s forms of cognitive play. Just as it is important to ensure a variety of physical play events, so is it important to ensure that there are opportunities for functional play, constructive play, symbolic play, and games with rules. In this webinar, we will explore the benefits of these types of play and how to implement them on the playground.

Outcomes:

  • Understand Piaget’s forms of cognitive play.
  • Describe how playgrounds are the perfect place to practice functional play.
  • Explain 5 different ways to include symbolic play on the playground.
  • Illustrate the benefits of including Games with Rules on the playground.
  • Identify ways to include constructive play on a playground.

Back to Top

 

Swings in a 21st Century Playground

Swings take a lot of space in a playground design.  Are they worth it? Swings stimulate a child’s sensory system and help with brain development. In this previously recorded course , we discussed the child development benefits to swinging. We also explored the many different types of swings that are now available, looking at the advantages of each one

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss how swinging can stimulate the sensory system and help with brain development
  • Explore how children use gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and motor planning when using swings
  • Explain the social benefits of having swings on the playground
  • Identify the different types of swings available and the advantages of each type
  • Explore how a combination of swings can promote inclusion.

Back to Top