Continuing Education

Continuing Education

We are thrilled to offer Continuing Education to professionals like you, who share our goal of creating awe-inspiring play solutions for all. We provide pre-recorded, online courses through our learning management system, or live courses via Zoom. Select an option below to begin.

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/HSW 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”. (Please note there is a multi-step process for registering.)

Sign Up   View Course Descriptions   Log In

How to Register for On-Demand Courses

 

Live Courses:

Sign up for one of our upcoming live Continuing Education courses below.

Designing Inclusive Playgrounds for Varied Disabilities – September 19th @1PM ET

October, a month brimming with disability awareness, presents a crucial period for landscape architects. With a multitude of affinity weeks and days dedicated to various conditions, from Dyslexia to ADHD, and from World Cerebral Palsy Day to World Mental Health Day, this month offers a unique opportunity for landscape architects to promote inclusive environments that cater to children with disabilities.

In this continuing education course, landscape architects will explore the diverse spectrum of disabilities and conditions highlighted during October’s awareness initiatives. Participants will gain insights into understanding a variety of disabilities, including dyslexia, Down syndrome spina bifida, Rett syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness, and invisible disabilities. We will discuss strategies for supporting children with these disabilities on the playground. We will provide practical ways for your firm to engage with and support organizations leading these awareness activities. Emphasis will be placed on leveraging social media platforms to foster community engagement.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Identify key features of common disabilities affecting children.
  • Apply principles of inclusive design for these specific conditions.
  • Enhance their firm’s role in advocating for inclusive play spaces within communities.

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On-Demand Course Descriptions:

All on-demand courses are previously recorded.

10 Steps to an Autism-Friendly Playground

According to the CDC, about 1 in 44 children has autism. This number has been on the rise over the years, and it’s estimated that over 3.5 million people in the United States now live with an autism spectrum disorder.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 44 children has autism. This number has been on the rise over the years, and it’s estimated that over 3.5 million people in the United States now live with an autism spectrum disorder.

This course explores autism and its implications for families going to a playground. You’ll learn what autism is and how it impacts those born with it. You’ll also discover 10 specific playground strategies you can employ to help address the needs of children with autism in a design that works for neuro-typically developing kids, too.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Define autism and what it means for families going to playgrounds.
  • Explain how different playground equipment stimulates the sensory systems.
  • Discuss how playground layout can impact a child’s experience.
  • Utilize a 10-step checklist to ensure a playground is designed to support a child with an autism spectrum disorder.”

Best Practices for Design and Specification of Fabric Shade

Never before have human beings been so sedentary, nor spent so much time indoors. One obstacle to being outdoors is sun exposure – healthy in small doses but dangerous in large ones. This course offers shade creation techniques for designers, landscape architects, urban planners and park and recreation professionals.

Never before have human beings been so sedentary, nor spent so much time indoors. One obstacle to being outdoors is sun exposure – healthy in small doses but dangerous in large ones. This course offers shade creation techniques for designers, landscape architects, urban planners and park and recreation professionals. Tensile fabric structures elevate the value of outdoor space to a high degree. They can be purely functional or wildly imaginative. The designer’s imagination is the key. This course discusses the value of tensile fabric structures and the variety of applications for this exciting form of architecture. The factors that make up tensile fabric structures are discussed, including framing, fabric, connections, and foundations. The process of bringing a fabric structure from idea to implementation is thoroughly discussed. And case studies are inserted throughout to show these innovative structures in action.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Discuss the protective benefits of outdoor shade for people, products, and places.
  • Describe factors for integrating fabric structures into the built environment.
  • Define considerations for the specification of fabric shade structures that are tested and rated for safety and longevity.
  • Identify the process for designing and implementing a quality shade structure.

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, emotional stresses, and even pandemics like Covid 19, that attack our safe places.

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, emotional stresses, and even pandemics like Covid 19, 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 (ACEs). Trauma-informed design is an emerging field focused on supporting the environmental and psychological needs of trauma victims and survivors. The presentation in this course will focus on the aspects of design that can help this demographic thrive despite the challenges they face.

Upon completing this course you’ll 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.

Community Engagement: A Case Study

Kids Cove—a beloved community playground in Marquette, Michigan—showed clear signs of deterioration after two generations of service. A group of volunteers identified the need for a new inclusive playground, and the city agreed to support the initiative if the volunteers would lead the fundraising and planning.

Kids Cove—a beloved community playground in Marquette, Michigan—showed clear signs of deterioration after two generations of service. A group of volunteers identified the need for a new inclusive playground, and the city agreed to support the initiative if the volunteers would lead the fundraising and planning. In less than 20 months, the group was able to hire a landscape architecture team, rally the community around the initiative, create a playground design with input from constituency groups, and raise over a million dollars for the project. How did they do it? In this course, Mara Kaplan will interview three community members to learn how a team of volunteers was able to accomplish what they did, how they used crowdfunding to finish their campaign, and how a strong partnership between a landscape architecture team and the volunteers was crucial to the success of the project.

Upon completing this course you’ll 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.

Creating a Sensory Rich Playground

This course will explore the proprioceptive sensory system in detail and convey how children use play equipment to get proprioceptive inputs. We will also discuss the importance of auditory and vestibular experiences and how they can be created beyond musical instruments and swings.

This course will explore the proprioceptive sensory system in detail and convey how children use play equipment to get proprioceptive inputs. We will also discuss the importance of auditory and vestibular experiences and how they can be created beyond musical instruments and swings. Finally, we will touch on taste and smell and how a sensory garden located near your playground can add another layer of sensory input.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Define the seven sensory systems of the human body.
  • Identify proprioceptive experiences beyond hanging, jumping, and climbing.
  • Select equipment that will provide interesting sensory experiences.
  • Describe ways to create a sensory garden.

Creating Extraordinary Playgrounds

What does it take to create an extraordinary playground?  What strategies should you put into place so your new playground is visited by families from the neighborhood and from the next county over? In this course, we’ll highlight a variety of built play spaces.

What does it take to create an extraordinary playground?  What strategies should you put into place so your new playground is visited by families from the neighborhood and from the next county over? In this course, we’ll highlight a variety of built play spaces.  We’ll see how playgrounds fit into bigger settings, how theming makes a statement, and how surfacing or even one or two pieces of unique equipment can make a playground extraordinary. We’ll also discover why multi-generational and/or inclusive playgrounds draw families from far and wide.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Discuss how water play, height, and unique equipment can help create an extraordinary playground.
  • Identify small details that can turn an ordinary playground into an extraordinary one.
  • Explain how playgrounds that reach the widest audience can often be extraordinary ones.
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