Making Music in Parks and Botanic Gardens

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Music and nature have long been sympathetic partners. The tradition of music in gardens reaches back to the open-air rites and communal celebrations of indigenous groups worldwide, and continues today at parks, university campuses, public memorials, and botanic gardens. Here we look at several ways the experience of music in gardens is becoming more accessible… Read more »

The Shape and Form of Playgrounds

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To the curious eye, forms and shapes are everywhere. From turrets and lampshades to clock gears and armadillos, the world is alive with architecture. And it’s reasonable to presume most landscape architects and designers think of playgrounds this way: built or organic works, with a coherent form and structure, and a function designed for those… Read more »

STEM Learning through Sand and Water Play

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If you’ve been following national education trends with even passing interest, you’re familiar with STEM. The curricular model focuses on educating students across four disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) through an integrated, applied learning approach. It first gained ground under the Obama administration’s 2009 “Educate to Innovate” campaign, galvanized by the recognition that US… Read more »

Ping Pong Moves Into Parks and Playgrounds

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Placing a ping pong table in a public park is a social act; it creates a venue for interaction, a place where strangers can rub elbows, chat, and engage in friendly competition. In an urban setting, in particular, a ping pong table can spark conversation and friendships among people, who might otherwise occupy separate social… Read more »

Playgrounds Spin into the Next Generation

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Ever tried twirling on a playground spinner as an adult? Did it make your stomach turn? It’s not uncommon. When adults spin, the centrifugal motion can make them feel dizzy and uncomfortable, even sick. But spatial disorientation is good for our brain in appropriate doses, which is why sitting at long meeting or on an… Read more »

Playground Shade: A Matter of Necessity

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Shade is an integral, if undervalued, aspect of playground design. Some of the best playgrounds earn their distinction because they offer a range of sun-protected areas where children can play and rest. And some very good playgrounds could be better if they provided more shade to sustain longer stretches of play, protect children from intense,… Read more »

The Vestibular System: The Sixth Sense of Playground Design

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Several weeks ago, at the ASLA conference in Los Angeles, Greg Miller, principal landscape architect at MRWM, and Lucy Miller, founder and director at the STAR institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, discussed how children with sensory disorders benefit from strategically designed playgrounds and gardens. Their presentation drew my thoughts to a lesser known neuro-cognitive development… Read more »

The Benefits of Learning Through Play for Children with ADHD

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There is a tendency for society to draw a line between work and play, but for many kids this is simply impossible. Studies suggest that time spent playing outdoors increases educational progress, by improving happiness levels and engagement. This is particularly true for those with ADHD, which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports… Read more »

Sensory Playgrounds for Children with Autism Spectrum and Sensory Integration Disorders

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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 »

Top 3 Ways Surfacing Boosts Play

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Encouraging Beneficial Play with Surfacing   Reducing risk while maintaining a fun play area often represents the main focus when discussing a playground’s surface. All of Goric’s Surfacing and Accessories products meet important ASTM standards for reducing the frequency and severity of fall-related incidents. Such risk reductions are supremely important, and they are also only the beginning… Read more »

(Re)Introducing the Spaghetti Line of Sculptural Play Equipment

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Goric is excited to announce the return of our full line of the Spaghettis, a series of imaginative and beautiful sculptural playground equipment. Several years ago our manufacturing partner Linie M (known then as Conlastic) lost the design rights to two of the Spaghettis within the series. Though it was unfortunate at the time to… Read more »