Encyclopedia Listings

The Play & Playground Encyclopedia is a dynamic resource of over 600 listings that relate to issues involving children’s play, playgrounds, health issues, and safety as well as the people, organizations, and companies who have contributed to children’s play and wellbeing.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder

The way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses is referred to as sensory processing. Sensory input is received and understood through sights, sounds, touch, tastes, smells, movement, balance, body position, and muscle control.

John Preston

John Preston was an expert on playground safety. He worked with the Consumer Public Safety Commission to publish the Handbook for Public Playground Safety.   Preston revised and updated the handbook in order to clarify the different recommendations and keep it current. This handbook has become a very important part of the playground industry and is known by those in the industry as “Preston’s Handbook.”

Let's Play

Let's Play, a community partnership program created by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), has the goal of getting kids and families active outside and to “provide the tools, places and inspiration to help communities increase physical activity.” As part of DPS's corporate philanthropic program, ACTION Nation, Let's Play supports Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, believing that obesity can be solved when everyone cooperates and takes responsibility for getting kids active outside.

EcoPlay Playgrounds

EcoPlay Playgrounds

EcoPlay Playgrounds is a commercial playground design, manufacturer, and installation company that offers the EcoPlay products of play structures, swings, and site amenities made from post-consumer, recycled HDPE plastic (milk jugs). The company originally known as Safeplay Systems was founded in 1989 and is based in Marietta, Georgia.

Pioneers in Public Recreation

Pioneers in Public Recreation

George D. Butler wrote Pioneers in Public Recreation (1965) in the spirit of dedication to the men and women whose accomplishments shaped the “beginnings, growth, and significance of the recreation movement,” a movement he believed to be “one of the outstanding developments of the twentieth century.”

David Parker

Parker, David

Involved with Park and Recreation Associations, David Parker has also become a safety inspector for CPSI and NPSI and worked with ASTM on safety issues. David Parker became a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) in 1985.

Designated Play Surface

As defined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a designated play surface is any elevated surface greater than 2 inches by 2 inches that a child might access and attempt to play on. Guardrails, handrails, and posts pose a potential hazard if a child should fall from a greater height than the playground surfacing is designed to protect.

National Recreation and Park Foundation

The National Recreation and Park Foundation (NRPF) was a nonprofit organization that advanced parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts. Their mission was to “support research and public awareness of the economic, social, and physical value of parks and recreation in creating healthy families and communities for all populations to include educating and reaching the underserved.”

IPEMA certification

In October of 1995, the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) was formed by a group of twelve playground equipment manufacturers. They saw the need for a trade organization that would provide third-party physical validation of compliance to the safety standards as outlined in the ASTM International (ASTM) F1487. Though these manufacturers were already working together under the auspices of the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA), that organization chose not to allow the new certification program due to liability concerns.