To Develop Mind and Body, You Have to Move “Since it is through movement that the will realizes itself, we should assist a child in his attempts to put his will into act.”– Maria Montessori (source) A child’s natural approach to learning about their world involves playful movement. We learn by doing, and one of… Read more »

The days of monkey bars suspended over pea gravel are far behind us. But the evolution of playgrounds is happening so fast, and in such varied ways, the change can seem dizzying. Certainly one of the biggest trends of 2016 is the growing popularity of fitness-focused playgrounds designed for older children and adults. Another is… Read more »

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know the name Rick Henke. Raised in Kiel Germany, Henke immigrated to the US in the 1970s and founded the Goric Marketing Group USA in 1994. With his background in engineering and his involvement in developing playground safety standards in Canada, Rick was an early creator… Read more »

Seniors Playground, Adult Playground, Playground Equipment

Last week, an article in the Wall Street Journal drew attention to a growing trend: playgrounds for aging populations. Emerging two decades ago in China after a national law mandated fitness programs for all ages, adult playgrounds quickly spread to Japan and parts of Europe and Latin America. Now, according to the article, “hundreds of… Read more »

Perhaps because the United States was a vast unexplored frontier to the Europeans who settled here, fascination with land and its design potential — for agriculture, parks, cities, playgrounds — is integral to our identity. Thomas Jefferson had an ornamental farm on his property at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. He designed the master plan for… Read more »

A few months ago, the published results of a four-year demonstration study of 40,000 children across South West England conducted by Plymouth University, found both students and teachers to be happier, more engaged in the learning process, and more enthusiastic about coming to school after spending time in outdoor environments. The study adds to a… Read more »

With the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo still fresh in our minds, it seems fitting to wish farewell to New Orleans with a look at some of its best parks, gardens, and playgrounds. What better judge than the people of New Orleans? In this week’s blog, we scour a compilation of Airbnb host-generated guidebooks,… Read more »

In a culturally rich city that blends French, Creole, African, Irish, and German heritage and lays claim to the best beignets in the country, not to mention some of the best jazz, there will be plenty of opportunity for diversion at this year’s ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo in New Orleans Oct. 21-24. With the… Read more »

For the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about ways to get kids moving. While good options for fitness are nearly endless, playgrounds are still at the top of the list. Studies have shown that those who exercise outdoors tend to do so more often than those who primarily work out indoors. And it seems… Read more »

Too many calories and too little activity. Those are the two main contributors to childhood obesity, according to the Mayo Clinic. So, if you want to help your child maintain a healthy weight, a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, and beans is a good start. But physical activity… Read more »

“Who needs to escape the city when you can walk down the street or take the F train to Jay Street or the No. 22 to Clark Street or the B63 bus that goes right to Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue — and see nature in the city.” That’s Anne Raver, art and design columnist for… Read more »

In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin, landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh was asked about the 40-foot-tall climbing walls at Maggie Daley Park, a sprawling, 20-acre mega-park towering over Chicago’s lakefront. His response: “They were designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates architects and landscape architects (and me!) and fabricated by Entre-Prises in… Read more »