Elizabeth (Betsy) Caesar, president of Playcare, Inc., playground designer and playground safety expert, believes that all play and learning settings should be “safe, healthy and supportive of the growth process.”1 She maintains that a good playground design is “a space where children can explore themselves and their world with as few rules and as little adult interventions as possible.”2
1. “Curriculum Vitae.” Personal correspondence to Playground Professionals from Betsy Caesar. 7 May 2012.
2. Caesar, Betsy. “Give Children a Place to Explore.” Child Care Information Exchange. March 2001. < http://tachedaycare.com/Articles/Explore.pdf> 7 May 2012.
The California Roundtable on Recreation, Parks and Tourism is an independent and nonprofit organization formed to support both public and private programs for “quality, sustainable outdoor recreation” in California.1 Composed of representatives from public land agencies, outdoor recreation industries, recreation providers, educational institutions, private enterprises, tourism agencies, user groups, and environmental organizations, they have sought to create a “seamless recreational experience” for the outdoor user by coordinating their programs and resources.2
1. “Welcome to California Roundtable on Recreation, Parks and Tourism.” California Roundtable on Recreation, Parks and Tourism. < http://www.calroundtable.org/ > 2 April 2012.
Camp Fire USA is a national youth development organization that serves boys and girls, with an emphasis on school aged children. They include all children - regardless of race, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, or disability - in their mission to build “caring, confident youth and future leaders.”1
1. “Mission/Core Values.” Camp Fire USA. < http://www.campfireusa.org/Mission_and_Core_Values.aspx > 17 Feb. 2012.
Capture the Flag is traditionally an outdoor game played by two teams of children with the object of capturing the opponent’s flag. It has been played by Boy Scouts, at summer camps, and in backyard neighborhoods for years. The game can be played on any terrain, and boundaries for the two territories are determined by the players, such as fences, roads, trails, and other recognizable landmarks that can serve as boundary lines.
Carter’s Kids is a nonprofit organization founded by Carter Oosterhouse. He is the host of HGTV’s Carter Can television show. The organization is dedicated to increasing children’s activity levels by building and developing community parks and playgrounds in their neighborhoods. His purpose is to promote activity, self-esteem, and nutrition in fighting childhood obesity. He actively involves the local children in the construction of the play area so they can gain a sense of ownership and care for a place they helped build.1
1. “Building Up America’s Kids One Space at a Time.” Carter Oosterhouse. < http://www.carteroosterhouse.com/helping_others.html > 12 Feb. 2011.
CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) is a coordinated school health program that focuses on physical activity, healthy food choices, and the prevention of tobacco use for children from preschool through 8thgrade. Utilizing classroom curriculum, physical education curriculum, child nutrition services programs, and a family Home Team program, CATCH improves children’s health behaviors and reduces the risk of childhood obesity.1
1. “CATCH Research and Development.” CATCH: Coordinated Approach to Child Health. < http://catchinfo.org/catch-research-and-development/ > 8 Feb. 2012.
Cemrock Naturalistic Environments constructs, fabricates, and installs concrete landscaping features and realistic exhibits for zoos, aquariums, parks, playgrounds, and museums. They also stabilize coastlines and slopes from erosion with natural looking sculpted retaining walls.
Rick Dyson founded Cemrock in 1978 in Tucson, Arizona.1 Cemrock began creating artificial rockwork, trees, and naturalistic environments for museums, zoos, and aquariums. Cemrock then entered the commercial marketplace venturing into golf courses, theme parks, resorts, and roadside and coastal stabilization projects.
1. “About Cemrock.” Cemrock. < http://www.cemrock.com/who.html > 10 April 2012.
The Communicable Disease Center was formed in 1946 by Dr. Joseph W. Mountin, a “visionary public health leader.”1 As a branch of the Public Health Service (PHS) located in Atlanta, Georgia, the CDC originally focused primarily on eradicating malaria. By 1950 they had expanded to become a center for disease surveillance through the solution of the Salk vaccine contamination issue in 1955 and the tracing of the influenza epidemic in 1957.2
1. “Historical Perspectives History of CDC.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. June 28, 1996. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. < http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00042732.htm > 27 Jan. 2011.
The Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) certification is a mastery-level certification program for park and recreation management and administration professionals. The CPRE is offered by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), with the first examination conducted at their 2011 Congress and Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia.1
1. Keating, Michael. “Association launches park/recreation credential program.” Govpro. 7 Aug. 2011. < http://govpro.com/parks_recreation/content/NRPA-certification-20110807/ > 10 Aug. 2011.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) offers the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification for professionals in the parks, leisure, and recreation fields. Administered by the National Certification Board of the NRPA, the CPRP is based on national job analyses conducted in 1989, 1999, and 2006 concerning the core components of the leisure service profession.1
1. “CPRP Agency Discount.” The National Recreation and Park Association. < http://www.nrpa.org/Content.aspx?id=2960 > 10 Aug.
A Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) has passed the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI)'s examination. The ASTM International (ASTM) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are the safety standards used for this test. NRPA began the Safety Institute examinations in 1991 to promote the latest public playground industry standards and guidelines.
Children love a challenge. They enjoy the sense of mastery over their body and its emotions, especially fear. As they play, they test their abilities, giving themselves new goals and challenges to master. They will take calculated risks to stretch themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. When experiencing moments of apparent risk, their minds are placed in a state of alertness, resourcefulness, and expectancy. Mastering challenges results in giving children a sense of personal power and a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.1
1. “Challenging and Adventurous Play.” PSC WA Professional Support Coordinator. < http://pscwa.org.au/getdoc/15311c58-e225-4bed-bc96-49233b0bf475/DCDGUIOSHCFactSheetChallengingandAdventurousPlay.aspx > 12 Oct. 2010.
The Charleston Park Angels are volunteers who manage the Charleston Park Conservancy (CPC) Garden in the Parks program. Their manifesto begins with, “We are the people of Charleston – The historic, the proud” and ends with, “We come together to improve, to preserve, to share our parks in a way that is worthy of our beautiful city. We honor the past; we preserve the present; we celebrate the future; We are the Park Angels of Charleston. Our City. Our Parks. Our Pride. Our Mission.”1
Checkers is a popular board game played by children and adults alike. The game is played on a checkerboard of two colors, usually black and red, with the most popular size in America being 64 squares on an 8x8 board. The board game is played around the world and is known as draughts (pronounced “drafts”) in Europe.
Various hazardous chemicals and poisons can sometimes be found in a playground environment. These are the result of treatments applied to play equipment or living organisms that affect playground areas.
Arsenic is the main ingredient in a wood preservative called Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA). This preservative was used for wood play equipment in both residential and commercial settings until 2004 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and CCA manufacturers agreed to discontinue manufacturing it because of the toxic nature of the preservative. Both the wood play equipment and the landscaping ties that contain the protective surfacing could still contain this preservative if they predate 2004.
Chicago Children's Museum is a not-for-profit, hands-on museum whose mission is to “create a community where play and learning connect.”1 Believing that meaningful play is how children begin to learn, they have formed a safe gathering place where “families, educators, caregivers, and staff come together to discover, explore, collaborate, celebrate, inspire, and learn through play.”2
1. “Chicago's #1 Children's Museum!” Personal correspondence from Chad Mertz to Playground Professionals. 6 Apr. 2012.
2. “Our Vision Starts with Play.” Annual Report 2010. p. 11. Chicago Children's Museum. < http://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org/CCM-AR-FY10.pdf > 6 Apr. 2012.
Chicago Toy & Game Group is a series of events, awards, and resources that “encourage and promote the power and joy of invention in social, educational, and professional environments.” They are dedicated to “building community through play by providing opportunities for people of all ages to connect with one another and experience the joy and educational value of traditional play.”1
1. “About Us.” Chicago Toy & Game Fair. < http://www.chitagfair.com/about/about.htm > 7 Sep 2012.
Child's Play is a “gamer-run” nonprofit organization which coordinates game and toy donations for children’s hospitals worldwide. By providing videogame consoles, videogames, videos, coloring books, cartoons, books, and arts and crafts supplies, the organization seeks to ameliorate the stress of long-term hospitalization for the children and their families.1
1. “Giving to Charity This Year Is 'Child's Play' - Successful Video Game Charity Launches 2004 Effort.” Prnewswire. < http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/giving-to-charity-this-year-is-childs-play---successful-video-game-charity-launches-2004-effort-74438572.html > 18 Nov.
Childforms is a commercial playground equipment manufacturer offering a full line of modular play structures and play environments for early childhood and elementary market. They also manufacture free standing play events, dog park features, ADA ramps, park amenities, and retaining systems for protecting and maintaining safety surfacing. They believe in “offering quality products at a fair price with excellent customer service”1 and in “assisting our children in learning about the health benefits of outdoor play.”2
Childhood 101 is a blog-based website that recognizes that “childhood is a journey … not a race”1 and “celebrates the joys of family and childhood, providing information and inspiration for modern day parents as their children play, learn and grow.” The writers for Childhood 101 believe “A great childhood is about simple fun, play and learning with the people that you love.”2
Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was founded in 2006 to address the Nature Deficit Disorder issue raised by Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods. Richard and five other leaders in diverse fields created the nonprofit Children & Nature Network with the initiative to “Leave No Child Inside.”1
1. “Children and Nature 2009: A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World.” Children & Nature Network.
Children At Play is a history of children's play in America from 1600 to the 21st century. Written by Howard P. Chudacoff and published in 2007, it chronicles the play of white children, African American children, and Native American children ages 6 through 12 years old. Chudacoff believes that play is how pre-teen children assert their growing autonomy, and in Children At Play he has given an historical perspective to the “ebb and flow” of their unstructured and structured play. He concludes that “children's ability to play independently has eroded over time and that in the modern era this shrinkage has had unfortunate, if not perilous, consequences.”1
1. Chudacoff, Howard P. Children At Play. New York and London: New York University Press, 2007. p.
Children’s museums are not traditional museums with exhibits of ancient artifacts scaled down for children. They are interactive places designed specifically for children where they learn through play and exploration. Children discover and gain understanding through a myriad of experiences in a hands-on environment based on their own interests and pace.1 As a family-friendly environment, “children play to learn and adults learn to play.”2
1. “Why visit a children’s museum?” Association of Children’s Museums. < http://www.childrensmuseums.org/visit/why_visit.htm > 29 June 2011.
2. “Children’s Museum History.” Children’s Museum of Central Nebraska. < http://www.cmocn.org/history.htm > 29 June 2011.
The California Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights (COBR) identifies ten outdoor activities that the California Roundtable on Recreation, Parks and Tourism chose to represent the basic outdoor needs for healthy childhood development. Encompassing such activities as “Play in a safe place” and “Camp under the stars,” their vision is that by the age of 14, all children will participate in these recreational and cultural activities and thus increase the quantity and quality of time they spend in the outdoors.1
1. “Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights.” CA.gov Parks and Recreation. < http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24952 > 21 March 2012.
Choking occurs when children cannot breathe normally because their airway is obstructed. This injury can be serious and even fatal. Small children who put things in their mouths are the most susceptible to this type of injury. Small stones, small pieces of bulk playground surfacing material, toy parts, and food are among the items that might cause a choking hazard.
Strangulation occurs when something is wrapped around a child’s neck that restricts his breathing so oxygen cannot get to the brain. Strangulation hazards are related to the design of play equipment, the maintenance of play equipment, supervision, and inappropriate play behavior.
Dr. Keith M. Christensen is a landscape architect, professor, researcher, and the founder and director of Beyond Access, a program which offers technical assistance when designing inclusive play environments. He believes that “Inclusive play experiences help children with and without disabilities discover that they are competent and capable, able to take risks, climb higher, think harder, and foster friendships.”1
1. Christensen, Keith. “Inclusion, Providing equal opportunities for physical and social play.” Words on Play – A Treatise on its Value by Leading Play Scholars. Playcore. Print.
Monty Christiansen began his career in safety when he was in the 6th grade. As a member of the AAA School Safety Patrol, he monitored other children crossing streets both before and after school. As a young man, he attended Iowa State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Landscape Architecture in 1964. During that time, he was inducted into Tau Sigma Delta, the National Professional Architecture Honorary Society, at Iowa State in 1963. The following year he received the Certificate of Merit from the Iowa State American Society of Landscape Architects.
Climbinet was founded in 2010 in Montreal, Canada, as an independent division of Elephant®Play, a Techno Playground Equipment brand. The presidents of Elephant®Play, Serge Morin and Yvan Cinq-Mars created Climbinet to offer more affordable rope play structures for outdoor climbing. Without sacrificing durability or safety standards, Climbinet manufactures climbing rope structures with unique technical features that increase durability. Climbinet uses steel core cables to avoid stretching of the cable.1
1. “Climbinet.” Communication with Playground Professionals. 9 May 2011.
Climbing is an activity that children enjoy from an early age. Most children find climbing fun and strive to accomplish reaching the highest point possible to view the world around them. Exploration is an important part of climbing, whether they are climbing a tree or scaling a rock wall. They climb for excitement and the feeling of achievement when they overcome challenges, test their abilities, and show off for others. Peer pressure and encouragement from others often motivates children to climb structures and accept challenges. Children are also found playing on climbing structures as they engage in dramatic play and chase games.1
1. Frost, Joe L., Pei-San Brown, John A. Sutterby, Candra D. Thornton.
Cognitive development is the natural mental process of growth of perception, memory, judgment, reasoning, and other conscious intellectual activity.1
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) developed a comprehensive theoretical framework for studying the intellectual development of the child through acquiring intelligence, increasing complex thinking, and problem-solving abilities from infancy to adulthood.2
Coleco was a toy developer and manufacturing company that was most famous for the home video game system, ColecoVision, and the Cabbage Patch dolls. The company also produced wading pools, doll carriages, tabletop hockey games, electronic hand-held games, Power Cycle plastic tricycles, pinball machines, pool tables, and sleds.
Martin Greenberg founded the Connecticut Leather Company, a supplier of leather to shoemakers, in 1932 in Hartford, Connecticut. Coleco, an abbreviation of Connecticut Leather Company, was a family business that increasingly involved Martin’s two sons, Leonard and Arnold.
A “completely bounded opening” is defined as: “…any opening in a piece of play equipment that is totally enclosed by boundaries on all sides so that the perimeter of the opening is continuous.”1 A completely bounded opening may be either rigid or flexible. Rigid openings are found in such components as stairs, barrier panels, and handholds. Flexible openings are found in such components as net climbers and some plastic enclosures.2
1. ASTM International Standard F1487-11, “Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use,” Section 3, p. 3.
Confidence can be defined as the belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.1 A confident child displays a belief in his own abilities. This confidence is developed over time as he learns to trust himself. A child’s confidence is accelerated by adults in his life who show their trust and belief in him. Both internal messages and external feedback from others play an important part in developing confidence.2
When children manipulate their environment to create things, they are engaged in constructive play. Experimenting with materials, they can build towers with blocks, construct objects with miscellaneous loose parts, play in the sand, and draw sidewalk murals with chalk. Children learn basic knowledge about stacking, building, constructing, and drawing, discovering which combinations work and which don’t.1
1. “Types of Play.” Child Development Institute. < http://www.childevelopmentinfo.com/development/p11.shtml > 27 Aug. 2010.
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) started in 1968 as a gathering of consumer minded non-profit organizations. Today approximately 280 organizations have joined to gather information, analyze a broad range of consumer issues, and report to the public and government policy makers their findings and recommendations.
With a combined membership of over 50 million people, CFA focuses on four areas: advocacy, research, education and service. Based in Washington, DC, they lobby to further pro-consumer policies in Congress, the White House, federal and state regulatory agencies, state legislatures, and the courts.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a United Nations legally binding treaty that incorporates respect for all children's needs, including their civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights.1 The CRC includes basic humanitarian law and defining principles concerning children. The 54 articles of the CRC and its two Optional Protocols are based on four core principles: non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival, and development; and respect for the views of the child.2
1. “Rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.” UNICEF. < http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_30177.html > 21 March 2012.
2. “Convention on the Rights of the Child.” UNICEF.
Cooperation is the act of working together for a common purpose.1 Cooperative play has been designated as the highest category of play. It is described as the stage where “the child plays in a group that is organized for the purpose of making some material product, striving to attain some competitive goal, dramatizing situations of adult and group life, or playing formal games.”2
Coordination is the ability to develop patterns of movement efficiently integrating visual information with the movement of the limbs.1 This can be seen in the locomotive system of the body. It takes collaboration of the skeletal system, muscles, and the nervous system to make the smallest movement, and walking requires fifty-four muscles in the feet, legs, hips, and back working together to propel the walker forward.2
1. Frost, Joe L., Pei-San Brown, John A. Sutterby, Candra D. Thornton. The Developmental Benefits of Playgrounds. Olney, MD: Association for Childhood Education International, 2004. p. 130.
2. Yahya, Harun. “Co-ordination In Human Body” Ezine Articles.
Dr. Nilda Cosco is a Research Associate Professor and an Education Specialist who is concerned with the impact of outdoor and built environments on the well being of children and their families. She believes that, “Outdoor play in nature is especially stimulating as nature is ever changing, highly sensory, and engaging...Long periods of engagement in freely chosen play activities not only supports attention restoration and creativity but the development of social skills and language, the opportunity of full immersion in the physical environment, and the unexplainable joy of being in touch with others.”1
1. Cosco, Nilda. Words on Play. PlayCore. 2011 Brochure. Print.
Crayola began as Peekskill Chemical Works in upstate New York where they ground, packaged, and distributed charcoal and lamp black. Joseph W. Binney founded Peekskill in 1864 and was joined by his son, Edwin Binney, and nephew, C. Harold Smith, in 1880 when he established the headquarters in New York City.1 They were in the business of pigments: black from charcoal and lamp black and a red iron oxide paint often used on barns.
1. “Binney & Smith Inc. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Binney & Smith Inc.” Reference for Business Company History Index. <http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/50/Binney-Smith-Inc.html> 4 Feb. 2011.
Cre8Play started in Minneapolis in 2005, when Todd Lehman sought a creative outlet for designing commercial playgrounds. After 20 years of working in the playground industry, including having consulted for playground manufacturers and co-chairing a Rep Advisory Board for a major playground manufacturer, he became frustrated with the limitations of the traditional post and deck designs.
Todd was joined by Nick Demetrakas, who brought his 20+ years of experience to Cre8Play, including being Marketing Manager for one of the largest playground manufacturers. Currently, Nick is on two ASTM International committees: F08 Sports Equipment and Facilitates and F15 Consumer Products as well as a board member of IPEMA's Surfacing Validation Program.
Falls from playground equipment are the most frequent type of injury to children on playgrounds and head injuries are the most frequent cause of death in playground equipment-related falls. The ASTM International (ASTM) Standard F1292 is designed to provide a testing method for surfacing materials that will allow assessment of impact attenuation of playground surfacing and thus reduce the severity and frequency of fall-related head injuries.1 The term “Critical Height”is the key to understanding the purpose and method described in ASTM F1292.
1. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard F1292-09. “Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surfacing Materials Within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment,” Introduction, p. 1.
Crush or shear hazards could cause the user to have the following injuries: “…contusion, laceration, abrasion, amputation or fracture during the use of playground equipment.”1 Crush and shear hazards should not be accessible to children using a playground.2
Crush and shear hazards are points found in places where parts move against each other or a fixed part. Examples of this type of movement are found in fulcrum see-saws, suspension bridges, track rides, swings, whirls, and roller slides.
1. “Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use,” ASTM International (ASTM), 3.1.9, p. 3.
Dr. Henry S. Curtis was a public supporter of play and the playground movement through his research, writings, leadership, playground planning, and teaching. He felt that, “Play is our education in the spirit of joyousness, but it has much to do, not merely with the joyousness of childhood, but with the joyousness and optimism of all after life (adulthood).”1
1. Curtis, Henry S. “The Playground.” Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction. 1907. p. 285.