Designer Profile: Lynn Wolff of Copley Wolff Design Group

- Written by - filed under Designer Spotlight, What's New.

Shortly before they co-founded Copley Wolff Design Group, Lynn Wolff asked John Copley to describe his childhood. They were both teaching at Boston Architecture College at the time, and had a standing Tuesday meeting to discuss their classes and projects. Ms. Wolff’s question wasn’t that unusual. The surprise came, mid-sentence, as Copley was talking about… Read more »

How Indoor Play Areas are Helping to Bring American Malls Back to Life

- Written by - filed under Design Ideas, Random Topics, What's New.

To trace the origins of the iconic American shopping mall, one must travel all the way back to the mid-twentieth century. It was in 1956 that Southdale, the first enclosed shopping space in the United States, opened outside of Minneapolis. Over the next fifty years, roughly 1,500 similar structures were built across the country, and… Read more »

Teaching Children the Worth of Water

- Written by - filed under Play Equipment, What's New.

They say one never knows the worth of water until the well runs dry. It was on the heels of the most severe drought in recorded history that my family and I recently moved from California to the Pacific Northwest. We’d taught the kids to treat water like gold. We’d kept our fruit trees alive… Read more »

Six Ways Parents Can Support Their Children on the Playground

- Written by - filed under Living & Learning, Random Topics, What's New.

Any parent who has ever witnessed a child’s first steps knows what the glow of fresh independence looks like. It is a messy, non-linear process, as the new toddler begins teetering around, falling, and getting up again. As parents, it can be simultaneously splendid and terrifying to watch, and it is a practice they’ll have… Read more »

Designer Profile: Joe Frost, The Contemporary Father of Play Advocacy

- Written by - filed under Designer Spotlight, What's New.

As a child on a small farm in southwestern Arkansas, Joe Frost played with his friends in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. He played war and chase, built dams in the stream behind his grade school, and piled on his classmates in a game called “Dog Pile.” He devoured library books, government  pamphlets, comics,… Read more »

Sensory Playgrounds for Children with Autism Spectrum and Sensory Integration Disorders

- Written by - filed under Living & Learning, Product Education, What's New.

The title of Jonathan Safran Foer’s second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, has absolutely nothing to do with playgrounds. But the phrase has stuck with me as an illustration of what it means to be a child, where at times the world can be overwhelming and, frankly, a bit scary. Playgrounds are intended as… Read more »

Designer Profile: Michelle Mathis, RLA, Learning Landscapes Design

- Written by - filed under Designer Spotlight, What's New.

Eight years ago, on a five-day cycling tour of Berlin, Michelle Mathis stumbled upon her first bonafide adventure playground. What she saw caught her off guard: along several hundred linear feet of boardwalk, children unaccompanied by parents were using hammers, hand saws, and pieces of scrap wood to build forts, some as high as twenty… Read more »

The 6 Best Parks and Playgrounds for Seniors

- Written by - filed under Living & Learning, What's New.

Jared Diamond, an American scientist known for popular science books, such as Guns, Germs, and Steel and The World Until Yesterday, gave an interesting 2013 TedTalk concerning the wide differences in how societies regard senior citizens. As he mentions in the talk, one way these differences are manifest is in filial patterns and living arrangements. For… Read more »

How to Make Sand Accessible at Playgrounds

- Written by - filed under Design Ideas, Natural Playgrounds, What's New.

Accessibility is crucial for children who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices to enjoy playgrounds, and a big part of that relies on surfacing.  Ground surfaces along accessible routes and maneuvering spaces must comply with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F 1951- 99 standard. The standard measures the work an individual must… Read more »

Best Multigenerational Play and Fitness Equipment

- Written by - filed under What's New.

Across the country, more and more fitness equipment aimed at senior centers is coming on the market. From a health standpoint, it makes sense. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) notes that regular cardiovascular exercise can help seniors strengthen the heart and muscles, boost energy and endurance, and control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Strength… Read more »

Best Small Playgrounds with Big Play

- Written by - filed under What's New.

Small playgrounds and playspaces need not consist of crowded assemblages of equipment. In fact, restraints imposed by site conditions are often where some of the most creative and cohesive designs find their origins. Because there is not always the available space or budget needed for ambitious projects on the scale of MonstroCity in St. Louis… Read more »

Designer Profile: Joseph Lee, Father of the Playground Movement

- Written by - filed under Designer Spotlight, What's New.

“Do not be forever meddling, interfering, asking questions, showing them a better way. Give the constructive power of your children scope and elbow room – the temple that it builds is invisible to any eyes but theirs. If you blur and jostle their vision, it is lost.” —Joseph Lee, social activist, philanthropist, president of the… Read more »