Archive for July, 2009

Features Allowing Easy Playground Upgrades from HAGS

July 31, 2009

Looking to add a playscape feature to your playground? The HAGS line offers many stand-alone products that can complement and expand any existing site. Sometimes a growing population area will require a play area to cater to increased demands, but an entirely new playground is not in the budget or is not needed at the time. A way to increase accessibility is to find an open area on the playsite and install a feature like the HAGS Dio, a two-tiered slide deck, or a HAGS Cixtona, a multi-dimensional rope and ladder climber.

The Dio's purpose is to offer one cool slide.

The Dio's purpose is to offer one cool slide.

The Cixtona specializes in climbing.

The Cixtona specializes in climbing.

These products not only provide more places to play, they also add variety and aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, multiple colors are available so matching a specific palate is not a problem. If the squared-out Cixtona climber is not in your plan, than maybe a triangular independent rock climber is—the HAGS Abrid. This new aged rock wall can offer three climbers a place to scale at once. Also for that designer seeking a little more kick, maybe the HAGS Himbino is a better choice than the Dio, simply because is has more going on. This complex contraption has a slide, pole, rock climber, and curved ladder—all rolled into in one!

The Abrid is one forward-thinking, three-walled rock-climber.

The Abrid is one forward-thinking, three-walled rock-climber.

This multi-faceted feature is the Himbino.

This multi-faceted feature is the Himbino.

If the dream is big, but the space is limited, a cool option to go with is the HAGS Combur. The fantasy-styled feature is tall and slim, but creative and fun-packed. It has a slide, rope ladder, and a vast assortment of climbers that accommodate any visitor’s desire. Another captivating model is the HAGS Kandriano. The Kandriano also offers shade cover, and is interesting in that it has a sitting swing, a slide, and a large deck. Both of these products are built to please many tastes.

The Combur offers big returns for limited space.

The Combur offers big returns for limited space.

The Kandriano's style is unmistakable.

The Kandriano's style is unmistakable.

HAGS offers many great products, some of which cater to limited space demands. These products, all from the HAGS Uniplay line, will allow an easy playground upgrade.

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Unique and Creative Playground Technology from Fusion/Xccent Play!

July 29, 2009

The Fusion/Xccent Play playground line is one of the most innovative out there—having designed the first clear rock wall, they can be expected to bring many original features to the playscape design table. Have you ever heard of a Wiggle Walk? This unique bridge and stepping stone hybrid allows children to move from one independent assembly to another in a very entertaining fashion. Improving balance and coordination, the platforms move around slightly when stepped on. Because the Wiggle Walk can act as a pathway or a feature, it is a really versatile playground product. Fusion provides many more irresistible playground features…

The red, blue, and grey pattern of the Wiggle Walk at the bottom of the image.

The red, blue, and grey pattern of the Wiggle Walk at the bottom of the image.

Want to spin around till you’re dizzy? Able to provide a completely unrivaled experience, the F1 and F2 spinners are an amazing touch on any playground design. Whether it’s one child or two wanting to ride the spinners, “the support bar enables rider[s] to apply even more force,” for a safe ride. And, “spins freely” technology allows for “an ease of motion.” So get ready for twisting and shouting because when the F1 or F2 spinner is onsite, two things are for certain—an abundance of sharp turns and big laughs.

Pictured on the right side is a Red Spinner.

Pictured on the right side is a Red Spinner.

Another spinning device is the Reactor Wheel. This cutting-edge product keeps a kid’s imagination on the move as it is a highly useful, extremely durable, and visually attractive playground movement piece. Jump up and grab hold and “transfer from one system to the other with one sweeping twirl.” The Reactor Wheel can support many children at one time and provides a high level of accessibility. Fusion/Xccent Play has designed and made available a large and diverse selection of playground equipment. Described above were some spinning and movement products, but also ready to go are climbers, riders, and gliders—so check them out too!

All the way in the top right corner is a red Reactor Wheel.

All the way in the top right corner is a red Reactor Wheel.

Small Features, but Big Rewards

July 16, 2009

Small features often mean big fun for children.  There are many tiny sized playground components—when compared to such massive structures as the Mega Tower—that add variety and depth to any playground.  These valuable pieces, often independent from the central playground, come in various shapes and are all distinctive in appearance.  Although individual in nature, these features can team up well to produce enormous affects in terms of boosting aesthetic allure and enhancing function and accessibility.

Sping Rider Bug Eyes, Close Up Detail

Sping Rider Bug Eyes, Close Up Detail

What do lady bugs, snails, ATVs, and grand prix racers all have in common?  They are all spring riders available for playground design and building projects.  Even better, these examples are just a sample of the vast assortment on hand from Miracle Recreation Equipment Company, which also has elephants, frogs, and motor cross bikes, among many more.  A playground’s appeal will increase with just one or two—or a whole fleet of these spring-anchored contraptions, created in imaginative forms for children to ride on.

Lady Bug Spring Rider

Lady Bug Spring Rider

The spring rider collection isn’t the only equipment set to offer faux animals for a play site.  A new feature option in the playground world is the Park Pet.  Lying down, waiting attractively for a visitor to lay eyes upon or climb up on could be a polymer concrete resin cat, fish, or turtle, among others.  Sturdy and enduring, these stone like creatures generate original images to be remembered and talked about by those fortunate enough to have one at a nearby park.  How unique! 
A Frog Styled Park Pet

A Frog Styled Park Pet

The park pet and spring rider are just two types of modest features that deliver a whopping good time.  So whether it’s a spring loaded frog or a concrete resin dog, a small time attraction will add range and value to a playground—and a little more fun.

Grasshopper Spring Rider

Grasshopper Spring Rider

More Technology Advances in the Playground Equipment World

July 14, 2009

New features in the play industry have been invented—actualizing ideas that are really extraordinary.  These creations have taken traditional playground equipment to a level probably once thought impossible.  For instance, did you ever think a clear rock wall could exist?  Can you even think of what a bubble climber could be?  Technology in the playground realm has reached new heights, allowing children to have new experiences; and equipping landscape architects with even more design options.

Bubble Climber Pictured on the Left

Bubble Climber Pictured on the Left

The clear rock wall is from Xccent Play is the first of its kind.  On the Xccent website, details of the equipment are as such: it is, “made of virtually indestructible extruded polycarbonate,” and includes 70 holds, “made of durable UV resistant polyurethane.”  Images of the wall can also be found on the site.  Obviously, the wall is built sturdy and secure, but it also has holds on both sides so that kids can climb facing each other—a truly unique experience.  The wall is fresh, but what’s better is that it continues to offer the benefits of play

Bubble Climber with Orb-x Behind

Bubble Climber with Orb-x Behind

Another novel feature is the bubble climber, from Miracle.  This colorful attraction has a form like no other.  Instead of the traditional holds that kids use to climb on, it has bubbles cut out that offer the same activity but with a different twist.  The aesthetic appeal is also increased with a more organic feel that stems from flowing curves.  The looks are also improved with vivid colors like bright red and green.  This contemporary playground update will turn any playground from bland to original and remarkable.

A Closer View of the Bubble Climber

A Closer View of the Bubble Climber

These two innovative features take tradition, stick it in the oven, and turn up the heat a couple notches.  When modern technology teams with original thinking, anything is possible—in the playground world, that means more fun.

Innovation Encourages the Benefits of Play

July 9, 2009

Contemporary playground designers use innovation to create new experiences for children.  So, when a new playground is built, kids get to put to use the latest play features.  A transformation occurs here.  Not only is there new equipment to play on, but also the previously unseen forms inspire children to imagine differently, and see the world they know in a different light.  Sure, it might seem a bit wondrous, but a child really progresses and gains significant awareness by being able to imagine and play in different environments.  It is critical for landscape architects and other playground designers to use modern day advances in playscapes to give them the opportunity.

An Environment for the Imagination to Expand

An Environment for the Imagination to Expand In

Babycenter.org says play, “promotes social skills… builds the imagination… and advances physical development,” in children.  For these reasons, providing them with the appropriate environment that is safe, exciting, and accessible is quite important.  One feature that allows all three of these aspects is the Mega Tower—however there are many others that do the same.  Mega Towers though are large enough to cater to a large number of children, so they are accessible; they are very well crafted and offer safety; finally, they can link to slides and climbing walls and are seriously exciting.  Innovation here expands the benefits of play past an adequate environment… new technology can make those environments spectacular.

Using the Imagination Builds Character

Using the Imagination Builds Character

Playground technology advancements don’t stop with the Mega Tower though; there are many other modern features that improve the environments where children play.  Ramps and bridges offer children a great chance to create their own experience.  With captivating, original designs, even these simple features provide the opportunity for imaginations to shape them even further.  Another great feature that is often underplayed is the overhead climber/challenge which is uncomplicated and in prime condition for children to make their own.  Through innovation and an available space, the benefits of play are given a chance so that kids can better shape their identity.

Provide and Exciting Space for Play

Provide an Exciting Space for Play

Playground Surface Improvements to Prevent Financial Burdens

July 8, 2009

New techniques are coming up everywhere in order to make cities more sustainable and their features more economical.  For instance, as told of by the Dirt Blog on the ALSA website, new methods to combat storm water runoff are being implemented everywhere in Philadelphia, even in playgrounds.  The post, called Unpaving Philadelphia, describes how impervious surfaces that keep water from soaking into the ground and rather push the water into storm drains can “overwhelm the city’s sewage system,” leading to many adverse affects.  However, a solution is available.

Bark Lets the Rain Back Into the Ground

Bark Lets the Rain Back Into the Ground

To combat the problem, the city has started to rip out the impenetrable surfaces and replace them with soft earth—one playground mentioned is cutting down the schoolyard’s run-off by 80%.  The Dirt Blog says this playground is using a method that cuts down 50% of the pavement used, all at the borders, to let the rain soak in naturally from all sides.  A system such as this reduces water runoff and reuses the water to hydrate shrubbery that will be at the borders, furthering the environmental cause.  Other practices that can be put into place such as using wood fiber (wood chips/bark) in place of concrete or asphalt areas, which will let the rain soak into the ground beneath them.

Permeable Surfacing

Permeable Surfacing

According to B-sustainable.org, the “built environment, increases the number of roads, parking lots, sidewalks, and rooftops,” all of which have impervious surfaces which make it impossible for water to seep back into the ground.  Because schools have a large surface area, including all of the building rooftops and pavement covering the schoolyard, it is more important than ever to incorporate more permeable surfaces because in places like Philadelphia, as stated in the Unpaving Philadelphia blog post, a” stormwater tax” will be implemented in 2010.  Eventually, a similar tax could be implemented in California so landscape architects and designers should incorporate runoff sustainability into the design of their new construction projects—not only to prevent financial burdens on their clients, but also to prevent environmental destruction.

Wood Fiber Comes in Different Colors

Wood Fiber Comes in Different Colors