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PlaygroundEquipment Blog
Monday, December 9, 2013

Evolution of Play, Revolution of Gender

Breaking the Pink Aisle for Adventurous Play Sets and Playground Equipment

Ever since we can remember, the general rule for gift giving was this-anything black, blue, mechanical, pirate play sets, metallic, cars, etc. are for boys while dolls and anything pink are for girls. It’s a stereotype that people didn’t wanted to get out of, until the “breaking the pink aisle” revolution broke out.

Blooming Fun

This revolution made the internet scene and earned the attention of hundreds of parents after Goldieblox released their Princess Machine viral ad. But, maybe the copyright lawsuit the Beastie Boys filed against them added to this publicity.

Pushing that aside, there’s still something troubling. Research shows there is a link to the lack of female engineers and the usual gender play stereotyping.

America's First Playground

Did you know that America's first playground was in Golden Gate Park located in San Francisco, California? And it is still there! Founded in 1887, the playground was groundbreaking for the time period. It featured swings and slides, and a cart ride pulled by a goat.

A Roman temple style carousel was the highlight of the park. The Roman style enclosure still exists today, though the current carousel inside the enclosure was manufactured in 1912. The carousel was so popular it was featured at the 1939 World's Fair.
carousel-golden-gate-park
Carousel at Golden Gate Park

Now known as the Koret Children's Quarter, the playground features swings, crawl tubes, slides, planks, a rope climbing structure, and the carousel. There are large grassy areas and designated spots for dogs to play.



References:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/03/politics-playgrounds-history/1480/
http://www.golden-gate-park.com/childrens-playground.html

Picture Credit:
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/the-scene/real-estate/Facelift-Due-for-Americas-First-Playground-101093244.html
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is finally here! Since the greatest Thanksgiving traditions are centered around the table, it can be hard to remember it is still important to stay active! Thanksgiving is a great time to get the whole family involved in being active.

Just a few fun ideas include playing a game of football outside, making a scarecrow, and having a gourd hunt. These activities will not only keep the family together, but allow you to enjoy active time outdoors.

Many areas host Thanksgiving themed 5Ks that benefit those in need during the holiday season. Those races are great ways to stay active, involved the whole family, and help others.

I know that I will be enjoying some of my favorite holiday foods tomorrow, and knowing that I can still remain active and have fun on Thanksgiving is a great thing.

From our family at PlaygroundEquipment.com, to your family at home, we wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's Halloween!

Happy Halloween from all of us at PlaygroundEquipment.com!

Did you have a fun Halloween tradition? I grew up living surrounded by cornfields and my closest neighbor was a quarter mile down the road. My parents used to take us trick or treating to my grandparents' houses and family friend's houses. Sometimes we would get to go around my grandparent's neighborhood as well. It was always a lot of fun!

Last year was the first year I have lived in a neighborhood and was so excited to have my first round of trick-or-treaters! It will definitely be something I look forward to every year.

I also love to carve pumpkins. It is probably my favorite part about Halloween! My mom taught me to sprinkle cinnamon inside the pumpkin before you light the candle and it makes the pumpkin smell very good. I've also painted pumpkins, but carving is still my favorite.

We hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween!
Friday, October 18, 2013

Revitalizing a Childhood Playground

Recently, the Cape Cod Times published a story about a local teen who saw his childhood playground was falling apart and vowed to raise money to see it restored. Over the course of three years, Jake Barry raised $42,000 for his childhood playground. Through fundraising and donations, Barry was able to purchase new equipment and have it installed.

We love seeing someone taking the initiative to restore a playground. Children in that community will be able to enjoy the new playground for years to come.

If you are looking to revitalize a playground in your town this is the perfect success story to get you started!

You can read the full article here.
Friday, October 4, 2013

NRPA Congress

We are very excited to travel to Houston, Texas this coming Monday for the NRPA Congress! The NRPA is the National Recreation and Parks Association and every year they host the Congress as a way for all of the park and recreation professionals to get together. Over 7,000 professionals travel from all over the world to the selected location for seminars, educational sessions, and networking opportunities.

This year we will be attending as well! We will be promoting our Dealer Program. If you are interested in meeting with us to become a dealer just contact Mandy at mandy@playgroundequipment.com to set up a meeting. We have put together a great presentation and are looking forward to sharing it.

For more information on the NRPA Congress just click here.
Friday, September 27, 2013

Creating a Wheelchair Accessible Playground

Since March of 2011, the ADA has required that all playgrounds be in compliance with ADA accessibility guidelines. With these laws had come the challenge of creating a wheelchair accessible playground that is fun for the children who will be using the playgrounds in wheelchairs. If you are struggling with trying to figure out how create an ADA accessible playground then check out the following tips!

  • Begin with deciding on safety surfacing. It does not matter what type of equipment you have if wheelchairs can't access the equipment due to surfacing issues. The best surfaces are included, but not limited to, poured in place rubber, rubber mulch, rubber tiles, or engineered wood fiber.
  • Offer accessible play components! Many large structures have activity panels that may include tic tac toe, music panels, sensory panels, and learning panels. Some structures also have post-mounted bongos, drums, telescopes, and ship's wheels.
  • Consider making the entire structure wheelchair accessible. All structures feature transfer stations, but you have the option of making the entire structure wheelchair accessible by using ramps.
  • Include ADA swing seats, wheel-thru climbers, and smaller structures.
The cost of creating an entirely wheelchair accessible playground can be overwhelming. To keep your project in budget, consider designing part of the playground to be entirely wheelchair accessible with smaller structures, ADA swing seats, and wheel-thru climbers.

playground-playsystem
Bridging Pathways Playground
If you want to create a structure that is entirely wheelchair accessible we are happy to help you design something that fits in your budget. To the right is the Bridging Pathways Playground that was designed for wheelchairs. Because of the use of ramps, the structure is larger than a regular structure that just features transfer stations.

For a full article on creating a wheelchair accessible playground click here. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you have about creating your wheelchair accessible playground.
Monday, September 23, 2013

Keeping Your Playground Safe

Playground safety is a very important issue. From 2001-2008 there were over 218,000 playground injuries, 51% of which where on public playgrounds. Since 1995, approximately $1.2 billion has been spent because of public playground injuries. The infographic on the right has even more detailed information about playground injuries and how they can easily be prevented.

Prevention by supervision is probably the easiest way to prevent injury. Approximately 40% of playground injuries are a result of lack of supervision. However, no amount of supervision will prevent injuries if the equipment is not safe!

How can you be sure that your public playgrounds are safe to use? You can always contact your manufacturer to schedule a yearly playground inspection. While you wait between inspections, you can keep an eye on your equipment yourself!

You might be thinking, "how will I know what to inspect?" We have a detailed checklist posted on our website that will help you inspect your playground! Feel free to print it off to always have it handy. You can reach the checklist by clicking here.

keep your playground safe
By performing routine inspections on your own, you will know if a problem arises that needs a professional eye. These routine inspections can catch problems early on and prevent possible injuries due to the problem. If you do find a problem contact your manufacturer immediately!

Safe and happy playing!
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Drawing Design Inspiration

When designing a new playground it can seem overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. If you are planning on a large structure it can be difficult to decide what to pair with it, or even what type of structure you want in the first place. If you decide to go with a small structure you may be wondering what independent play elements to pair with it, or if you should add a second small structure.

Why not draw inspiration from those who will be using the playground? A southeast Atlanta community did just that! This article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlights the building of a playground at Dobbs Elementary School, a school that has not had a playground in over 10 years. In search of inspiration for a playground design, children and adults in the community were able to submit playground drawings!

It is always great to go right to those who will be playing on the playground. They can tell you exactly what they want in their playground. Combining the most popular elements on these drawings can lead you to a great playground that all children will love.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Playing into the End of Summer

lake-powell-playsystem
Lake Powell
The start of August is often viewed as the beginning of the end of Summer. While that may be true, especially for those going back to school, there is no reason the end of Summer can't be as fun as the beginning!

If you are looking for a Quick Ship solution to your playground problems, look no farther than our Quick Ship section on our website! Located at the top of the home page, you will see a sample of Quick Ship items.

One of our most popular items, that happens to also be a Quick Ship, is the Lake Powell. This play system is one that will be a favorite among the kids who are anxious to get to recess in the middle of the day!

This structure features monkey bars, a tic tac toe panel, and climber, and two types of slides!

lake-powell-playsystem
Lake Powell


Monday, June 17, 2013

Summertime Shade

With Summer kicking into full gear it is time to think about how you can stay protected from the sun. Sure, it is fun to play under the sun! However, when outside for long periods of time, it is important that you be sure to get a little shade too.

Roofs on play structures are a great place to start when it comes to staying out of the sun. But kids are always on the go and these roofs do little in the way of protecting from long term exposure. Protect yourself and others playing with shades specifically made for playgrounds! These shades come in a variety of sizes and shapes to protect just about anywhere.

Below are a few images of the Rectangle Fabric Shade showing it's variety of uses. To see all shade options click here!

shades-playground
Shading a full playground

pool-shading
Shading a pool

playground-shading
Shading part of a playground




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Swinging Into June

June has arrived and with that comes summer vacation. Kids may miss the recess time they get at school because of all the fun equipment that comes with it. We have made it easy for kids to enjoy all the fun of recess all summer long.
swing
One of our featured items is the 8 feet high Elite Single Post Swing. With the option of having up to four bays, you can create any combination of swing seats! Swinging will always be a favorite of kids. It is a simple piece of equipment that will bring smiles to their faces!

This swing is also featured in our Quick Ship section. Place your order and see it ship within 48 hours. Perfect for those quick solutions for play time.











Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What We Have Been Up To

Greetings! It has been a while since our last post. We have been super busy adding all sorts of new products to the website as well as installing equipment all over the country!

Take a look at this Tropical Twist that was recently installed:
tropical-twist-playsystem
tropical-twist-playsystem


noahs-ark-playsystem

We have also added several new products to our website! A few structures, recycled plastic products, and playground accessories are just the beginning of the list.

The Noah's Ark Play System is a fun ship themed structure:

This structure is intended for children ages 2-12 and features ship themed panels with windows and top sails. Two slides and a coil climber are also fun elements of the structure.









plastic-picnic-table



The Toddler Style Recycled Plastic Picnic Table is another great new item. Made of recycled plastic, this table is great for toddlers so they can have their very own place to sit.


Be sure to head over to our website to see all of the new products!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring

Today is the first day of spring! And though it may not feel like spring where I am, I can't help but think about the warm weather on the way. I'm sure kids feel the same way. After being cooped up all winter, they are just waiting to get back outside all the time.

sun-climber-playsystem
Sun Climber I BR
All winter we have been updating our site and adding tons of new products, gearing up for the spring. Several residential items have been added as well! Check out the Sun Climber I BR. This two level play set is a popular choice for backyards. Included in the unit is a tire swing, two belt swings, a trapeze swing, a wave slide, and a rock wall. And that is just the beginning!


seesaw
See Saw

If you are looking for something smaller, then check out the See Saw. I always loved the See Saw on the school playground, so it would have been so neat to have one in my own backyard.

With the arrival of spring comes warm temperatures, blooming trees and flowers, and the need to play outside! Make sure your backyard is ready!
Friday, March 15, 2013

More Install Pics

playground-snow
 We even install in the snow! Check out these pictures from an install this winter.
playsystem-snow

playground-snow

playsystem-snow
All ready for springtime!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Busy Installers!


We have had a ton of installs over the winter season. Everyone is gearing up for spring time with new playgrounds! I want to show a few pictures from a recent install. This playground is just itching to be played on as soon as the weather warms up!
playground
playground

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Get Physical!

Over the last few months we have been super busy adding new products to our website. Our new catalog has been printed and we are looking forward to bringing you more great products in the new year.

Specifically designed for the catalog, and featured on the website, are a series of fitness structures. Aptly named "Get Physical" these structures are a sort of obstacle course that kids can enjoy playing on while getting exercise.

fitness-physical-alpha
Get Physical Alpha
There are currently four structures in this series. The smallest of the structures is the Get Physical Alpha. It is a great structure to add to your already existing playgrounds. It is also perfect for a smaller space.

If you are looking for a bigger course with more challenges, the structures get bigger and more challenging as you move from the Get Physical Beta, to the Gamma, and finally the Delta.

These fitness structures are completely unique to PlaygroundEquipment.com and you can be sure kids will love the challenge.

fitness-physical-delta
Get Physical Delta