Posts Tagged ‘Benefits of Play’

Fun Water Playgrounds to Keep You Cool All Summer

June 3, 2010

A fun water spray park goes as far in the summer as a humungous water balloon fight or a day at the lake complete with paddle boats and all. These destination sites are pretty much amazing and all enjoy their attractive water jets and alluring fountains. So gather round frog and flower sprayers alike and cool of with all your friends and family at the local water spray park today. If designing a new water spray park for your community, you may want to keep a few things in mind…

First, its fine to build in open fields but just make sure to include a shade structure so that patrons of the park have a retreat from the hot sun. Also, it is a good idea to have paved path ways up to the edge of the spray park from the parking lot because when wet it is easy to get dirty on the way back to the car…a simple design aspect such as this is exactly what will keep communities using your park all summer long. In terms of size, make sure the park is appropriate for the size of the community. Make the park too small and it will be overcrowded on especially hot days. Of course make it too large and it’s a waste of materials, resources, and the short and long term funds of your client.

A final design aspect to remember when designing a water spray park is the incorporation of benches, water fountains, trash receptacles, and other things of this nature… basically, don’t forget the supporting cast of the spray park. Children are the main attendees of the park, but adults will be right there too most likely watching and they will need places to sit—preferably in the shade—and relax. They will also need to throw away trash and get the occasional drink of water for themselves as well as their kids. Design the best water spray park possible and keep in mind that it’s the little details that make a big difference.

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Creative, New Balance Course Technology from HAGS Playgrounds… The “Dynamo” Set

April 22, 2010

The Dynamo Balance Course Set, from Hags Playgrounds, includes some of the most sought after play equipment in the world. And no, you don’t have to travel across the Atlantic to Europe to find these cutting edge play features, they are now available right here in the US thanks to Miracle Playsystems and Hags USA. Check out these interesting, creative play features that are stand alone or are ready to be designed together into a technological playground masterpiece.

The Dynamo: Sierra Diablo. Play improves lives.

The Sierra Diablo is reminiscent of a spider web, offering a web of nets to balance through while playing a school yard game or a friendly climbing competition with classmates. This amazing feature shows why Hags is a leader in developing new, exciting designs that entice visitors to challenge themselves while having a great time.

Dyanamo: Okavango Swamp. Enjoy the Benefits of Play.

The Okavango Swamp is absolutely a testament to the Benefits of Play. This unique play challenge helps children develop coordination and balance. How many tries will it take to make it to the other side? Chances are at least a couple until expert balance is developed. What a tremendous, fun way to test the limits of your coordination.

Dynamo: Cape Horn. Get Outdoors, Get Healthy.

The Cape Horn is almost out of an Indiana Jones movie. Kids can imagine themselves climbing across a jungle ravine on a bridges that moves about depending on the position of the weight of their body. Will they make it? If not this delightful play contraption provides a safe alternative to the real thing… great practice for those future explorers.

Dynamo: Hogs Back. Work through stress with play.

Finally, the last Dynamo feature we will be describing today is the Hogs Back… and fitting because this is the pinnacle of Balance Course Technology. This combination of features is a creative approach to incorporate many themes into one piece–you have nets, a rock wall, and mini platforms! This could be your playground centerpiece, surrounded by all the other fun features, all from Hags Playgrounds USA and Miracle Playsystems.

HAGS Playgrounds Don’t Leave Safety to Chance

April 6, 2010

Already one of the most prestigious companies in the playground world, HAGS continues to drive their business forward with standout product features and uncompromised, fantastic style. But what seems to really stand out from HAGS is the attention they place on safety and protecting that is most important on the playground—the children. To HAGS, “Nothing is more important that providing a safe, positive environment for children to play,” and they have a commitment that is based around meeting or exceeding all the major guidelines and standards of playground safety, as they say on their website. They are determined to keep the kids safe at play.

Use the Buddy System for Safety

Playground safety is all about getting the design right in the beginning stages, before production, so that nothing goes to chance. HAGS spends a great deal of time perfecting each and every product so that when it goes out on the market it is almost guaranteed to be reliable, long lasting, and safe. When a feature is sold, and brought to the client, and then built, the last thing anyone wants to happen is for a drastic change to have to occur for safety reasons…this is why HAGS does rigorous testing on every model long before the selling stages. Its good to know everyone has a friend out on a HAGS playground.

Remember to Play Safe

As always, nothing is for sure, accidents will happen as children after all are developing people and can make mistakes just like the rest of us. For this reason, it is important to install a soft surface under every play site to decrease the risk of falls. Adult supervision is always a must too. This is the most sure fire way to keep out children safe when they are out at play. An adult can…call for help…set the rules…be a role model…and resolve conflicts sooner. Children should strive to do these things too, but when it comes to safety, like HAGS, leave nothing to chance.

Play Improves Life, Especially When Safe

News from a Playground Master, Miracle Recreation Company

April 1, 2010

Here at Miracle Playsystems we like to keep up on all the latest playground news, especially when its from Miracle Recreation Company…so here it is. Did you know last year Miracle Rec Company pledged “$250,000 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children over the next three years, and [will] help cover lodging costs necessary to reunite family members upon the recovery of missing children,” in their ongoing effort to promote the total wellbeing of children? Its programs like this that really make the difference for a ton of families.

This feature is heavily used by the surrounding community; it is easy to see why... it is tall, unique, and offers one fast ride.

Miracle also released their new MiracleTech product line—the line in which the SONIC SCREEN came from—which includes ParkWatch®, a state-of-the-art infared security camera system that actually transmits its recordings via wireless connection for an all digital security approach…also introduced was the SiteBrite®, a patented lighting system that carries a low voltage touch. These technologies can be implemented into any new design or fitted onto an existing site… oh the power of technology.

Go further than the equipment to ensure long-term safety... implement technology such as the SONIC SCREEN.

And lastly, Miracle Rec Company went above and beyond back in 2008, and did not receive as much recognition as deserved. The playground company, for Grants for America’s Schools SM, offered $5,000,000 in money so that schools could apply for Commerical Play System Funds. This program is in support of the Benefits of Play as well as the new push to end childhood depression and obesity by encouraging physical, mental, and social gains through play. Miracle Rec has had a productive, worthwhile last couple of years it seems.

Take the already cutting-edge playground rock wall to the next level, features like these are what kids love and should get to use!

A Featured Design Aspect: A Healthy Connection Through an Overhead Challenge

February 25, 2010

An obstacle like this is a great way to connect playground features or decks.

Overhead challenges not only represent fun on the playground, they also represent the healthy gains that can be made on playgrounds. The benefits of play are very well documented and when a playground feature directly relates to one of them, we just have to tell you about it. One of the key benefits of play is physical fitness. Now, for children to just be outside and playing is great and will undoubtedly improve their health, but the overhead challenge takes health improvement to the next level. Using this feature is like working out while playing. There is perhaps no other feature that promotes upper body strength like the overhead challenge—just take a look at it.

To successfully navigate this feature it takes endurance, strength, coordination, and focus. Every one of these traits can be improved through play in general, but they must be uniquely harnessed to use the overhead challenge. Plus, children can gain these traits by using the overhead challenge day after day. Maybe on day one they get a quarter of the way across. By the end of week two they are just over half way. In a couple of months they will be swinging back and forth like a monkey.

Another great characteristic of the overhead challenge is that it connects other features. So now, when children are trying to get from one fun feature to the next, they can get a workout in the process. The overhead challenge really is a connecter on the playground, but it also connects the dots between physical fitness and play. The benefits of play cannot be ignored. Visit Miracle Playsystems for more details on how you can implement a cutting edge overhead challenge into your next playground design.

The overhead challenge is a fun workout.

The Benefits of Play are more Important than Ever…

November 30, 2009

Play has so many upsides that it is hard to count them all. For instance, did you know that there is a direct link between relaxation, tension reduction, and play? Or, that empathy and perspective-taking is gained through play and so are conflict resolution skills? At the Play = Learning website, many positive benefits are clearly outlined under such categories as emotional, physical, social, cognitive, and language development. Read on to learn more!

Play increases self-esteem and creativity. Copyright HAGS Aneby AB

The Benefits of Play are well documented at the Play = Learning website. When children play, especially with one another, they learn, share, and grow in one simultaneous process. Although education in school is very important, education through play teaches certain things that cannot be gained in the classroom. For instance, during play, the imagination is allowed to expand and create without classroom limits. At certain times, concentration is required in the classroom and this is important. However, there are other times when a child must be free from most restraints so that anxiety reduction can occur. Here attention regulation occurs more naturally and evenly.

Play teaches motor skills that are important through out life. Copyright HAGS Aneby AB

Moreover, there are specific skills that simply cannot be learned in the classroom. For example, physical skills such as coordination, balance, strength, and endurance must be developed outside in most cases. Health is a triangle… emotional, physical, and mental stability is needed for total well-being. Communication and language skills are also learned heavily outside of the classroom. How often will a child get to speak when he or she must wait their turn among thirty others? Well, at recess, they can communicate with one another unhindered for greater lengths to acquire valuable skills. Let kids play; it’s for their own good.

Experiences such as this one on the Clear Rock Wall will encourage a child's story-telling abilities.

Playground Spotlight of the Week: the Balance Beam…

November 29, 2009

Go back to the classics with the Balance Beam.

When designing a playground, including cutting edge equipment in the plan is a great idea. However, adding in a few of the traditional pieces will ensure than your design will register among every one and will even appear a bit cheerfully nostalgic. For instance, every adult can recall what it was like to walk, however unsteadily, across the Balance Beam. Although simple, this feature is terrifically entertaining. This is one experience all generations can appreciate at some age and most will say that they would hope that those younger than them have a chance to prove themselves on it… the Balance Beam.

This classic feature not only reminds us of our younger years, it is also quite safe, being low to the ground. Furthermore, this piece teaches balance and coordination, some of the skills documented under the benefits of play studies. What a great way to learn these physical skills at a young age in a playful environment. All it takes is climbing up on the Balance Beam and giving it your best shot and soon you are much better at getting all the way across it… balance and coordination are skills that will benefit someone in sports later down the road and through out the rest of their life.

What’s more, the Balance Beam is also highly accessible. More than one child can use it at one time and they can constantly take turns using it. Also, because it doesn’t take up much surface area, it can be fit into almost any design without much effort at all. There are so many characteristics that make the Balance Beam a great playscape feature. That is why it is this week’s Playground Spotlight of the Week!

The Contemporary Xccent Play! Early Childhood Line is Revealed…

October 1, 2009

Are you looking for a contemporary playground that the smallest of children, who are ready to begin climbing around and creating their own kind of fun, can dream big while playing on?  Xccent Play! has recently released its Early Childhood Assembly Line, which caters to the two to five age range.  Specifically designed with bright colors and whimsical shapes, this line has all sorts of features that little kids everywhere are going to have a blast using.

The Mulberry Bridge, from Xccent Play!

The Mulberry Bridge, from Xccent Play!

This fresh go at play equipment includes many memorable features.  For instance, a combination between a bridge and a rock wall climber, the Mulberry Bridge offers a safe outlet for children to climb around on.  With color schemes and a creative concept that are sure to excite any taste, the Mulberry Bridge is a great addition to a playground design.  Some small features like the Dizzy Daisy, the Sweet Pea, and the Teetering Tulip—which are different forms of spring riders in a sense—can be placed around the Mulberry Bridge to create a balanced and accessible site.  However, these aren’t the only features available from the Early Childhood Assembly Line.

The Spiraea is a new version of the teeter-totter that can move both up and down and from side to side.  Plus, instead of a two-child capacity, there is room for three, as the Spiraea is shaped like a triangle with its planks converging in the center.  Next is the Periwinkle.  This fun contraption looks like a life saver turned on its side with seats stuck to either end.  Allowing kids to sway back in forth, this O shaped feature is made to rock.  The big brother of the Periwinkle, the Petunia has two Os connected together so there is space for four kids to rock out back and forth.

Xccent_Play_WEB_logo

The Early Childhood Assembly Line, from Xccent Play! is made for children aged from two to five.  Kids in this range will have an awesome time playing on these features, while gaining the benefits of play.

The Innovative HAGS Play Circle takes the Functionality of the Benefits of Play to New Heights

September 24, 2009

The benefits of play, which include increased levels in social abilities, physical fitness, and self-esteem, are certainly well documented.  Expanding on the functional knowledge of these benefits in terms of playground equipment is the HAGS brand.  Through their new Play Circle device, one can better understand “which type of knowledge can be obtained in the different areas of play, and the impact it has on the child’s development.”  With this helpful innovation, a person designing or purchasing a playground will be able to see how various playground features play different roles in promoting the well-being of children through play.

HAGS

Copyright HAGS Aneby AB

The documented skill sets by HAGS’s Play Circle include developments in these areas: personal, existential, social, intuition, mathematical, musical, visual, physical, linguistic, and environmental.  These areas are tagged with identifiable symbols that differentiate which pieces promote different skill sets.  The symbols help a designer target improving specific areas in children—such as self-esteem, thinking abilities, speaking abilities, physical and mental senses, fitness level, spatial awareness, or social interaction—that may be the requirement of clients.  The designer can also make a client aware of this credible tool.

HAG1

Copyright HAGS Aneby AB

Designers can use the benefits of play to their own and to their client’s advantage, but the biggest winner is the children.  By combining a variety of features that will target different areas important in a child’s development, kids will have fun and gain the skills they deservingly need.  It is also true that the variety of pieces it takes to promote the benefits of play in a well-rounded fashion will also most likely combine to form a complete, distinguishable, and creative playscape design.  Be sure to use this tool, from HAGS, and keep the benefits of play in mind during all playground projects.

Duel-Use Sites offer Advantages to both Adults and Children!

September 22, 2009

Children are not the only ones who can gain from the benefits of play.  There is a variety of outdoor fitness equipment available from Miracle Recreation Equipment Company that can be built next to a playground so that while the kids are at play, adults can get in a workout.  By constructing sites that have duel uses, getting outside is easier than ever.  Why go to the gym when you could be outside, engaging in activity or exercise, while your child does the same, right next to you…

The Adult Course Horizontal Ladder.

The Adult Course Horizontal Ladder.

Everything from dip stations and balance beams to push up bars and vertical climbs are ready to go, from the Outdoor Fitness line.  In fact, there are so many apparatuses to choose from, a whole obstacle course could be put in.  So after work or picking up the kids from school you may not think there is time to do everything—including taking the kids to park to play and making time to stay in shape, all before dinner.  However, if your community had a space that both adults and kids could make use of, everyone could get in a little activity before getting too hungry.  The point is, everyone wins when parks provide activities for all ages.

The Adult Fintess Course Balance Beam.

The Adult Fintess Course Balance Beam.

Of course, safety is the next thing that comes to mind.  Communities will need to determine the level of safety required and what rules will best work for them.  Examples may include: only adults who have children at play can work out on the Outdoor Fitness equipment; and adults must make sure their child is still supervised while working out (this would be easy with a workout buddy).  Overall, the benefits of duel sites far outweigh the risks when the appropriate measures have been taken.  By placing adult Outdoor Fitness next to a playground, family outings are encouraged and time spent outside is a bit more convenient.

The Adult Fitness Course Vertical Climb.

The Adult Fitness Course Vertical Climb.