September 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm #160468
Can anyone point me in the direction of a good website (or two or three) for designing playgrounds? Or does anyone with knowledge of designing playgrounds wish to share their wealth of information? Thank you in advance!September 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm #160479Jon QuackenbushParticipant
Try to be an advocate for this, not stock plastic crap that doesn’t challenge the kids physically nor mentally.September 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm #160478
About five minutes before you posted this, I stumbled on this same website.
I’m trying to talk them into incorporating an outdoor classroom space as well. Thanks for your suggestions!September 13, 2011 at 7:08 pm #160477September 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm #160476Trace OneParticipant
Man, I love those Jon! Thanks for posting..Really tired of the “imagination playground” stuff going on in Manhattan – Iike those a lot..September 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm #160475Pat S. RosendParticipant
Playgrounds are for kids not adults. Kids really have different interests, likes and needs from adults in outdoor spaces. Not saying the other stuff isn’t interesting, it is, but just sayin’September 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm #160474david maynesParticipant
Check out Rusty Keeler out of Ithaca NY (Earthplay) He specializes in natural playscapes and has an interesting ethos regarding implementation and construction…very community outreach based. Nature-based playscapes are typically much cheaper and often times able to avoid the fall height regs and surface material requirements.
Here in Newfoundland, there’s been a big push to go this route. A client (daycare operator) implemented some of the design I did for her, while maintaining the traditional playground stuff. The traditional stuff is ignored. Kids much prefer to climb around, run…go to a dream world they create, not a predetermined plastic and metal creative void.
A good book that gets into the research on the benefits of this type of outdoor creative learning environment is ‘Last Child in the Woods’.
Good luck!September 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm #160473Trace OneParticipant
Yes, Pat, but none of us got here without being children first, and I think the abilitly to keep in touch with your child side helps for good design..I just find those imagination playgrounds are MORE programmatic than the ones Quackenbush has posted, and also think they quickly dissolve into something that looks like it belongs in the recycling bin..Just looks like a bunch of trash to me..
But perhaps to the modern child it does not…It’s a good topic, tho, I love playground design..We worked on a plan for a West Philly elementary school, at Penn, and I won points for asphalt – that is what we played on at the Italian Girls School in Beirut, and there is not much better for bouncing a good red rubber ball on, for a game of foursquare, than asphalt..Can be hard on the knees, tho..September 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm #160472
This website is great! I will check into the book as well. Thanks!September 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm #160471RobotParticipant
I’ve been following the Playscapes blog for a year or so. There are some really interesting playground ideas in that blog. Many are from Europe and other parts of the world, and would likely not be possible in litigious America, but the blog is still a good resource to get the creative juices flowing.September 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm #160470Rachael StricklandParticipant
The last thing I want to do is bash a playground company, but I have first hand experience working with natural playgrounds and would not recommend them for design services or playground equipment. We were asked by the client to put together construction documents at the 11th hour, but were asked to incorporate their equipment. All of the equipment can be designed by a landscape architect and built by a contractor at a more reasonable price and better quality. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about natural playgrounds company.
Some questions to ask yourself before the design process:
age of user group
interactive play/passive play
site safety – get to know playground safety VERY wellSeptember 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm #160469Jon QuackenbushParticipant
When I was a kid, I liked to run, jump, climb and hide, normally not in the same place twice. Today’s safe play equipment would have bore me very quickly, and I would have begged to either leave or found an actual challenge elsewhere.
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