Eagle Play Structures manufactures and installs commercial playground equipment in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. As a division of Sport Systems, LLC, the company is located in Ijamsville, Maryland.
EarlySpace is a play and landscape design company based in Arlington, Virginia, that creates natural play spaces, outdoor classrooms, and sustainable landscaping for homeowners, schools, and children’s programs. They believe in “connecting people, especially children, to nature and bringing nature to places where children are, through sustainable design.”1 Additionally they believe that play spaces are best when they reflect the community, culture, and indigenous materials of the area.
Rusty Keeler initiated the EarthPlay email discussion group in 1996 for a place to share ideas and information about natural play spaces.1 From that beginning, EarthPlay was founded to create “outdoor play environments for the soul.”2
As an artist, designer, and firm believer in the importance of play, Rusty collaborates with Leon Smith, another designer and preschool educator. Since 2004 they have assisted communities in designing, planning, and building natural playscapes.
1. “Community.” EarthPlay. < http://planetearthplayscapes.com/community.html > 10 May 2011.
2. EarthPlay. < http://planetearthplayscapes.com/ > 10 May 2011.
George E. Johnson wrote Education By Plays and Games in 1907 to “help promote a wider and higher appreciation of play and of its value in education, and add somewhat to the sum of child happiness in the world.”1 President G. Stanley Hall of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts recommended the book to parents, intelligent teachers, and open-minded educational leaders because “by turning on the great motive power of the play instinct, (they will) give increased efficiency to instruction and to learning.”2
1. Johnson, George Ellsworth. Preface. Education By Plays and Games. Boston: Ginn & Company, 1907. p. vii.
2. Hall, G. Stanley. Introduction. Education By Plays and Games. By George Ellsworth Johnson.
Written by Henry S. Curtis in 1915, Education Through Play approached the issue of children's play from the belief that it is a “school problem, that no other city department can deal with it satisfactorily, and that thus far the school has not done so...also, that this play problem of the school children is the chief play problem of our cities.”1 Dr. Curtis concurrently wrote The Practical Conduct of Play, a guide especially for play workers and left other aspects of play, such as public recreation or play at home with little children, for later treatment. He had previously written Play and Recreation in the Open Country.
1. Curtis, Henry S. Education Through Play. By Curis. New York: The MacMillian Company, 1920. p. viii.
Paul Edwardson has had a long career in the parks and recreation field and has been especially concerned with playground safety and maintenance.
Paul graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1973 with Bachelor of Science degree in Education, and for three years he was a public school music teacher in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. When his interests led him in another direction, he left teaching and returned to school to further his education in park and forestry operations.
Elephant®Play was founded in 1994 in Montreal, Canada, by Serge Morin and Yvan Cinq-Mars. Combining their talents to design playground equipment, their goal was to develop new and innovative post and deck systems that offer products that entice children to move, increase their play value, and still be safe and accessible.1 Originally named Techno Playground Equipment, the Elephant®Play trade mark was introduce in 2007 after market confusion with a similar name.
1. “Elephant Play.” Communication with Playground Professionals. 9 May 2011.
Dr. David Elkind is a child psychologist, educator, speaker, and author who has built on and furthered the works of biologist and child psychologist, Jean Piaget. He has focused on the cognitive, perceptual, and social development of children and adolescents with an emphasis on what constitutes healthy development. His research and writings have included the effects of stress and the importance of creative, spontaneous play for healthy development and academic learning.1
1. “Book Description: The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally.” Amazon. < http://www.amazon.com/Power-Play-Learning-Comes-Naturally/dp/0738211109 > 22 March 2012.
Emotional development refers to the ability to recognize, express, and manage feelings at different stages of life and to have empathy for the feelings of others.1 The development of these emotions, which include both positive and negative emotions, is largely affected by relationships with parents, siblings, and peers.2
1. Hearron, P. F. and V. Hildebrand. “Social-Emotional Development.” Education.com. < http://www.education.com/reference/article/social-emotional-development-2/ > 18 Nov. 2010.
2. Frost, J. L., Wortham, S. C., and S. Reifel. “Characteristics of Social-Emotional Development.” Education.com. < http://www.education.com/reference/article/characteristics-social-emotional-development/ > 18 Nov. 2010.
The nonprofit organization, Empower Playgrounds, Inc. (EPI), is providing electricity-generating playground equipment to villages in Ghana that are too remote to be on their nation's electricity grid. The school children gain a playground as well as safe, rechargeable LED lanterns to light their homes so they can do their homework. Additionally, the play equipment doubles as part of a hands-on science lab which brings science concepts into their daily lives.1
Endurance is defined as the ability to continue despite fatigue or difficult conditions.1 The stamina to perform physical activities for longer periods of time can be improved by exercise and increasing the amount of activity. This will result in developing stronger muscles, reducing body fat, and lessening the risk of developing diabetes or high blood pressure.2
1. “Endurance.” Dictionary.com. < www.dictionary.com > 30 July 2010.
2. Welton, Rose. “Endurance Exercises for Children.” Livestrong.com. < http://www.livestrong.com/article/107412-endurance-exercises-children/ > 30 July 2010.
Entrapment is defined as “…any condition which impedes withdrawal of a body or a body part that has penetrated an opening.”1
Gaps can be small enough to entrap fingers or large enough to entrap heads. In between are the sizes of gaps that could entrap hands, knees, or ankles.
The ASTM International (ASTM) Standard F1487 and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Public Playground Safety Handbook address the types of entrapment that might cause a life threatening injury. These are head and neck entrapment.
1. Standard F1487-07, Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use, ASTM International (ASTM), 3.1.13, p. 3.
Equilibrium is the state of balance acquired when contending forces are equal.1 The “sense of equilibrium” involves having a sense of security when standing, walking, or performing any movement.2 A number of factors are involved in equilibrium of the body, including visual cues, tactile kinesthetic sensations, and vestibular (inner ear) stimulation.3
1. “Equilibrium.” The American Institute of Balance. < http://dizzy.com/dizzines_and_equilibrium.htm#glossary > 4 Aug. 2010.
2. “Equilibrium.” Love to Know 1911. Classic Encyclopedia. < http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Equilibrium > 4 Aug. 2010.
3. Frost, Joe L., Pei-San Brown, John A. Sutterby, Candra D. Thornton. The Developmental Benefits of Playgrounds.
Equipment height is an important factor in making playground equipment interesting and challenging. Equipment that is too high can lead to severe injury. Equipment that is too low can be boring. Playground designers, owners, and operators must determine what heights are in the best interests of children that may use their equipment so the children can participate in activities that challenge their climbing instinct.
Manufactured by the Ohio Art Company, the Etch A Sketch is a mechanical drawing toy that has been a popular classic toy for over 50 years. First marketed in 1960, this remarkably simple device still maintains the original basic concept with little change to the design. The Etch A Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998 for its enduring popularity. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named the Etch A Sketch to its Century of Toys List commemorating the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the 20th century.1
1. “Etch A Sketch.” TargetStudy.com. < http://targetstudy.com/knowledge/invention/151/etch-a-sketch.html > 29 March 2012.
As part of the PlayCore family, Everlast Climbing Industries designs and manufactures indoor and outdoor climbing walls and handholds for all ages. They believe that “Climbing builds overall wellness, which consists of physical well-being such as strength, flexibility, and coordination integrated with emotional and intellectual characteristics such as problem solving, patience, perseverance, and courage.” In short, “climbing strengthens the body, challenges the mind and encourages the spirit.”1
1. Sudeith, Tim and Kevin. “Lifetime Sport Promotes Overall Wellness and Helps Meet MN Profile of Learning.” Everlast Climbing Industries. < http://www.traversewall.com/article_lifetime_activity.shtml > 21 May 2012.
Executive function, a term originally used in neuroscience, describes the cognitive abilities to think and control emotions. As young children learn to order their thoughts, process information, remember details, and focus on tasks amid distractions, they are developing their executive function skills. Play activities lead to opportunities for children to learn to wait their turns and control their impulses, which is described as self-regulation, one of the key executive function skills needed for success in daily living.1
1. Tough, Paul. “Can the Right Kinds of Play Teach Self-Control?” The New York Times. < http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/magazine/27tools-t.html > 21 Sep. 2011.
Peter May, a sculptor, began Research Casting International (RCI) in 1987, a museum technical services company that creates life-sized models of fossils. Having made molds of dinosaurs and other extinct mammals for museums all over the world, Peter and Matt Fair realized that these molds could be used with children. In 2009, Peter and Matt founded Exploration Playgrounds as an extension of RCI. Operating on the belief that, “Not every town has a museum, but every town has a playground,” Exploration Playgrounds creates playground dinosaur digs, archeological sites, custom playgrounds, and dinosaur climbers.1
1. Personal email received from Exploration Playgrounds to Playground Professionals. 10 Feb. 2011.
Eye-hand coordination is the ability of the vision system to coordinate the movement of the hands to perform a task. While vision is the process of understanding what the eye sees, it also involves the ability to move the eyes in a particular direction to aim and focus on an object. The effectual use of the hands to perform an activity usually requires visual input.1
1. Laberg, Monique. “Hand-eye Coordination.” Encyclopedia of Children’s Health. < http://www.healthofchildren.com/G-H/Hand-Eye-Coordination.html > 4 Aug. 2010.