Pacific Outdoor Products began as Timber Playsystems, which Samuel Emmons founded in 1981. What started as a way “to build something for his children to play on” grew quickly and was acknowledged in 1988 as one of the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies.1
Selling commercial and residential wood playstructures, Timber Playsystems' growth led to dividing the company. In the early 1990's the residential aspect of the company became Recreation Northwest, which continued to sell wooden play equipment through a small dealer network. The commercial side of the company remained Timber Playsystems. Later, SteelSystems was added, which manufactured and distributed steel playground equipment.
Author and educator Diana Huss Green gathered a group of parents who were concerned that their high standards for their children's education were not being fulfilled. In 1978, they formed the Parents' Choice Foundation, a non-commercial clearinghouse to review children's books, toys, music, television, software, video games, websites, and magazines. They wanted to give parents “reliable unbiased information about tools to help their children learn, to explore new challenges, to discuss ideas and to pursue dreams.”1
The Park & Rec Trades magazine, established in 1994, is an independent monthly super-tabloid publication targeted specifically to national, state, county, and city municipal park administrators and staff as well as national military facility grounds administrators and staff. Other subscribers include administrators and staff members of campgrounds, RV parks, forest preserves, engineering firms, fish/wildlife agencies, and suppliers to the park and recreation industry.
Tim Wilson, publisher of Park & Rec Trades, launched the magazine to provide suppliers to the park and rec community an opportunity to advertise nationwide to the industry in a cost-effective manner and to offer valuable contnt to park and rec professionals.
Park Prescriptions is a movement to create a healthier population by strengthening the connection between the healthcare system and public lands across the country. With parks, healthcare providers, and public health agencies working together to promote physical activity, good nutrition, and improved health, these partnerships encourage the doctor-patient relationship to consider how outdoor physical activity can be included in the treatment of health issues resulting from inactivity and poor nutrition.1
1. “Park Prescriptions: Resources for Good Health from the Great Outdoors.” American Trails. < http://www.americantrails.org/resources/health/Park-Prescriptions-Health-Great-Outdoors.html > 5 Aug. 2011.
George S. Parker, believing that strategy and amusement games could be enjoyed by adults as well as children, developed the classic games Monopoly, Flinch, Pit, Rook, Boggle, Risk, and Sorry.1 His own passion for inventing games was expanded upon by strategic acquisitions of other inventors’ products and his 12 tenets for running a good business - his own rules for the “game” of a successful corporation.2
1. Whitehill, Bruce. “George S. Parker and Parker Brothers.” The Big Game Hunter. < http://thebiggamehunter.com/company-histories/parker-geo-bros/ > 9 Sep. 2011.
2. Turner, Glenn. “The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit (Literature).” The New GAMER. 27 April 2005.
David Parker attended Kent State University and then Miami University of Ohio where in 1970 he earned a BA in Public Administration/Pre-law with an emphasis on Environmental Studies. At the same time he completed his Basic Peace Officer Certification from Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC).
Parks & Rec Business Magazine (PRB) is a recreation industry resource for parks and recreation directors, staff, and managers. Published by Northstar Publishing, PRB includes information concerning play spaces, parks, fitness, sports, and aquatics as well as administration, leadership, programming, grounds, and maintenance.1
1. “Parks and Rec Business.” Northstar Publishing, Incorporated. < http://www.northstarpubs.com/contact > 4 April 2012.
The Parks & Recreation Magazine is the recreation industry magazine for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). It furthers their mission “to advance parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people.”1 As a monthly resource, Parks & Recreation Magazine is available in both hard copy and digital formats.
1. “Contents.” Parks & Recreation Magazine. December 2010: Vol. 45, No. 12, p. 3.
Parks Build Community is a national initiative that promotes the value of parks and recreation on the health and vitality of communities across America. National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) launched the Parks Build Community initiative in 2009 with plans to revitalize Washington D.C.'s Marvin Gaye Park. Their mission is to select a park in an underserved area and transform it into a thriving gathering place for youth and adults.1
First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Let's Move campaign against childhood obesity on February 9, 2010. That same day the organization of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) was also announced. PHA was organized to support the Let's Move campaign by “encouraging, tracking, and communicating commitments to healthier lifestyles from partner organizations.”1
1. Bryan, Clifford. “Michelle Obama announces chairs partnership for healthy America.” Michelle Obama Examiner. < http://www.examiner.com/michelle-obama-in-national/michelle-obama-announces-chairs-partnership-for-healthy-america > 5 Aug. 2011.
Partnership for Play Every Day is a voluntary and collaborative initiative to increase the spaces and quality of play for children and youth in America. Affiliated with more than 30 of the nation’s leading non-profits, government agencies, universities, and corporations, the Partnership for Play Every Day hopes to create and sustain momentum for a national movement to have kids get 60 minutes of physical activity every day.1
1. “The Partnership for Play Every Day.” Partnership for Play Every Day. < http://www.playeverday.org/about/more-infor.html > 1 Feb. 2011.
PlayCore, the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI), and American Trails joined together to create Pathways for Play, a program to create walking, hiking, and biking trails that have “play pockets” along the way. These play opportunities vary in size and contain a mix of natural and manufactured play elements, which are linked by pathways, greenways, trails, or sidewalks to encourage continuous movement.1
1. “About Pathways for Play.” Pathways for Play. < http://www.pathwaysforplay.org/about.aspx > 22 June 2011.
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a non-profit public broadcasting television service, which was founded in 1970. The programming aired on PBS is produced and created by organizations and individuals and not by PBS. In the fall of 2000, The Institute for Play (IFP) created The Promise of Play, three one-hour documentaries to be aired on PBS as a miniseries. The IFP worked with InCA Productions of San Francisco, California. The executive producers were Dr. Stuart Brown and David Kennard. Helping with the production were Professor Brian Sutton-Smith, noted play researcher and theorist; renowned primatologist Jane Goodall; early childhood expert Alice Meckley; and the world-renowned Dr. Patch Adams.
The Promise of Play is broken into three episodes:
PD Play began as Progressive Design Playgrounds, founded in 1990 by Ali and Elizabeth Bemanian. With Ali's degree in design from University of Florida and his master's degree in architecture from Cal Poly, they entered the playground industry as parents designing a unique play structure for their two young boys.1 As a project architect, Ali researched the industry and designed the play structure, which they built for the boys' Christmas present.
1. “San Diego Playground Equipment Company Offers Free Evaluation of Existing Site.” PRWeb, Online Visibility from Vocus. < www.prweb.com/releases/san-diego/playground-equipment/prweb8590904.htm > 7 Aug. 2011.
PE4life is a nonprofit agency that helps schools build fit kids by advocating for and assisting in the development and enhancement of physical education programs and physical activity opportunities in schools and communities. They understand the importance of physical activity to children and youth, and are passionate in their work to help increase PE’s visibility, importance, and place in America’s schools. Their vision is that all children embrace wellness for life.
Peaceful Playgrounds started in 1995 with Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer, Ed.D., the principal of E. Hale Curran Elementary School, who wanted more children involved with physical activity during recesses. Melinda designed a program using a variety of games in organized activities rather than the passive standing in line to use playground equipment or talking in small groups that she was seeing. With her new program she saw a reduction of conflicts, an increase in children participating, and a better use of the open playground areas, which reduced overcrowding and injuries.1
Tom Peeples, a consultant on playground design and safety issues, has assisted in developing and promoting playground safety standards through his involvement with ASTM International (ASTM), the National Playground Contractors Association International (NPCAI), and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
His experience with parks and playgrounds began in 1979 when he started working for the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation/Water Department. With duties concerning maintenance of city parks and playgrounds, water lines, and sewer lines, Tom gained valuable experience in all aspects of park and playground construction, installation, inspection, and maintenance.1
1. Private correspondence from Tom Peeples to Playground Professionals. 12 Sep. 2011.
Peer pressure occurs when an individual experiences persuasion to participate in the same activities as those in their peer group, or to adopt similar values, beliefs, and goals as the group. For a child, their peer group is usually, but not always, of the same age group. The level of influence a child’s peers has on him generally increases as he ages. His resistance to peer influence often declines as he gains independence from his family. Pre-schoolers tend to be the least influenced by peer pressure to conform, however, once in school, children are more influenced to conform to the pressures.1
The 1995 International Playground Safety Conference, held at Penn State University, was the first worldwide conference on this subject. The Conference Convener and Chair was Penn State University Professor Monty Christiansen, an international advocate for children’s play. The conference was a continuing and distance educational program of Penn State University College of Health and Human Development, in cooperation with the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
Julie Cole founded Perfect Rubber Mulch in 2000 as a division of her company Just Gardens Landscaping. Due to rapid growth over the next six years, the division became its own company, Perfect Rubber Mulch Enterprises LLC, headquartered in Jefferson, Ohio.1
1. Cole, Julie. Emails to Playground Professionals. 21 Feb. 2011.
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was a social and educational reformer and writer in Europe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He believed that society could best be changed by education and that the reform began with assisting the individual students to help themselves.1 Besides teaching children with his unique methods, Pestalozzi also taught education leaders of his day, including Friedrich Froebel, the founder of the kindergarten movement.
1. Frost, Joe L. A History of Children's Play and Play Environments. New York, NY: Routledge. 2010. p. 24.
Physical development refers to the physical and biological changes that occur in humans between birth and adolescence.1 As a child grows and changes, he increases his ability to explore and interact with the world around him.2
Jean Piaget was a noted theorist in the field of developmental psychology and in the study of human intelligence. He was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland, on August 9, 1896 and died September 16, 1980 in Geneva, Switzerland.1
1. “A Brief Biography of Jean Piaget.” Jean Piaget Society. <http://www.piaget.org/aboutPiaget.html> 3 March 2011.
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.”1
1. Butler, George D. Pioneers in Public Recreation. Minneapolis, MN: Burgess Publishing Company, 1965. pp. vi, x.
Lady Allen of Hurtwood, noting that concerning play there was “a wealth of experience, but little informed, published material,” wrote Planning for Play in 1968 to assist those architects, planners, and leaders “determined to break away from the sterile barrack-type of playground of asphalt and mechanical equipment.” Through a discussion of incidental play, group play, adventure playgrounds, play parks, neighborhood playgrounds, and hospital play needs, Lady Allen sought to “explore ways in which, through play, the inherent curiosity and natural gaiety of children can be stimulated and kept alive.” She also explored the play needs of “handicapped, subnormal and maladjusted children.”1
Plants & Play, a R&D division of Mosteller Design and Construction, Inc., designs garden play spaces for all age groups, from infants through seniors. Plants & Play structures encourage children and adults to play and move in a “Lean, Green, Serene” environment that is safe and easy to supervise.1 They believe that “the more 'high-tech' we become, the more nature we need,” and they are filling that need with Diverse Interactive Garden play environments, which include Veggie Trails, Vertical Gardens, and Secret Play Gardens.2
1. “Welcome to PlantsandPlay.com.” Plants & Play. < http://www.plantsandplay.com/ > 21 March 2012.
Play and Child Development is designed primarily as a textbook for upper division students to guide understanding of how play ties directly to child development. Research on play topics, historical views and theory, and current play trends and play therapy are blended together to give practical applications and learning approaches across various ages and developmental levels of children. The text is intended to help prepare those who support children’s play in a number of contexts including preschools, elementary schools, park systems, and research programs.
Joe L. Frost, EdD, Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin, has more than 50 years experience in research and teaching. Joe Frost has authored books and articles on the subject of play, playgrounds, safety, children’s poverty, and play and child development.1
One of his books, Play and Playscapes, was published in 1992 by Delmar Publishers Inc. Developed primarily as a textbook for college and university students, the book addresses the nature and value of play and developmentally appropriate play environments for children.
1. “Child’s Play.” The University of Texas at Austin. < http://www.utexas.edu/features/2007/playgrounds/index.html > 21 April 2011.
The PLAY Every Day Act was a bill proposed to help promote the national recommendation of physical activity to kids, families, and communities across the United States. It was introduced in the Senate on February 15, 2007, by Sen. Thomas Harkin on behalf of himself and Sen. Hillary Clinton.1
The purpose of this Act was to help children, families, and communities achieve 60 minutes of physical activity every day, which is the national recommendation.
Congress made the following findings:
1. PLAY Every Day Act, 110th Congress, 1st Session S.651. 15 Feb. 2007.
Published in 1915, Play in Education was written by Joseph Lee, one of the most influential of the recreation pioneers, who was known as the “Father of the Playground Movement.” As early as the 1880s Lee was involved in working to provide playgrounds in underprivileged neighborhoods. As a wealthy lawyer, social activist, and philanthropist, he devoted his life to promoting play and recreation opportunities to America’s neighborhoods.
The original Play It Safe, An Anthology of Playground Safety was edited by Monty Christiansen in 1992. Hans Vogelsong joined Monty in editing the 2nd edition, which was published in 1996 by The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). NRPA's National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) sponsored this “extensive compilation of monographs written by national play and playground safety authorities.”1
1. Christiansen, Monty L. and Hans Vogelsong. “Acknowledgments of Appreciation by Ken Kutska.” Play It Safe: An Anthology of Playground Safety. 2nd ed. Arlington, VA: The National Recreation & Park Association, 1996. p. iv.
Play Mart, Inc. is the Beach family business that began nearly thirty years ago in 1981. Dennis Beach is a Landscape Architect who graduated from Rutgers in 1971 and then developed hiking trails in Lathrop State Park in Colorado for the Game, Fish & Parks Department. While working there, he met Rebecca, who was also passionate about the outdoors. They married, started a family, and eventually moved to Woodstock, Kentucky, in 1978.
Play Today in the Primary School Playground is a compilation of papers presented at the 1988 “The State of Play: Perspectives on Children's Oral Culture” international conference held at the University of Sheffield and sponsored by the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition. The organizers of the conference and the editors of the resulting book, Julia C. Bishop and Mavis Curtis, maintain that the common belief of the decline of children's play needs to be reexamined in light of children's self directed traditional play.
Child-centered, play-based learning is a whole-child educational approach that promotes academic, socio-emotional, and cognitive development through free play, which can also involve guided play by an adult. In guided play, teachers enhance children’s exploration and learning with helpful guidance while being careful not to be invasive in the children’s play.1
1. Fisher, Kelly, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta M. Golinkoff, Dorothy G. Singer, and Laura Berk. “Playing around in School: Implications for Learning and Educational Policy.” In A. Pellegrini (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Play. NY:Oxford University Press, pp.
Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul was written by Stuart Brown, M.D., founder of the National Institute for Play, along with Christopher Vaughan, an experienced journalist and author. Published in 2009, this book describes the significance of play in the lives of animals and humans and how free play develops the social and locomotive skills in children that are necessary for creative thinking later in life. He used his observations of animals in play as well as the latest advances in neuroscience, biology, social science, and psychology to explain the role of play in brain development and social integration.
Inspired by the 1954 Playable Sculpture Competition sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Georgia Tech College of Architecture and Atlanta Taskforce on Play (ATOP) organized a four category international competition in 2009 to design playground structures and playspaces called Playable10 International Design Competition. By opening the competition to landscape architects, professional and university-level architects, industrial designers, artists, engineers, and others, they invited all types of designers to “re-think the way people play and how they integrate play into their lives.”1
1. “Playable10 Design Challenge: Create Inspiring Play Design.” Playable Design.
Since 2007, Mike Lanza has posted to his blog, Playborhood, longing for the “Leave it to Beaver” days that seem to be lost forever. Concerned that unstructured free play has “virtually vanished from the lives of most children in America,” he is committed to voicing his concerns to build a community of parents who will become more aware of the problems and seek to implement the best solutions.
In April 2012, Mike published a book on this topic entitled Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play. It is aimed at parents who would like to give their children a life of neighborhood play, but who need some inspiration and ideas on how to make it happen.1
1. Lanza, Mike. Private correspondence to Playground Professionals. 1 March 2012.
Mike Lanza wrote Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play as a “road map” for solving the “free play problem” confronting families living in a world of safety fears, school encroachment, and adult structured activities. Besides identifying the challenges to “inner-directed” childhood free play, Mike highlights eight diverse neighborhoods where free play is being supported and then outlines six key suggestions for creating such a neighborhood where children can “laugh and run and think... every day.”1
1. Lanza, Mike. Playborhood Manifesto. Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play. By Lanza. Menlo Park, California: Free Play Press, 2012. Print.
Playcare, Inc. designs play spaces, provides playground safety audits, and conducts playground safety trainings for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and surrounding counties. They design play areas that are “safe, sensory rich, stimulating, developmentally appropriate, curriculum-based, accessible, and cost effective,” with the majority of their work involving day care and child care centers.1 Playground safety audits are a significant part of Playcare’s services.2
PlayCore is the parent company of several play and recreation companies and is known for their educational research and programming as well as their diverse family of brands. The company believes in building stronger communities by advancing play through research, education, and partnerships.
Playful City USA, sponsored by the Humana Foundation, is an application-based national recognition program honoring cities and towns that make play a priority and use innovative programs to get children active, playing, and healthy. Playful City USA communities make a commitment to play and physical activity by developing unique local action plans to increase the access to play in their community. In doing so, some of the most innovative concepts and cost-effective programs are being developed in Playful City USA communities. KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to saving play, created Playful City USA in 2007 to help local governments address the Play Deficit.1
The Playground Association of America was formed to support and expand the playground movement. In America this movement began in Boston, Massachusetts as a solution to problems stemming from increasing urbanization, industrialization, and immigration. As the cities became crowded due to the Industrial Revolution and the waves of immigration, reform leaders saw playgrounds as a means to train healthy, responsible American citizens and provide relief for the children of the inner city.
Playground Builders is a nonprofit registered charity dedicated to building playgrounds in war-torn areas in the world. They believe that playgrounds are places where “kids can be kids, community members can feel connected and empowered, new possibilities find a strong foundation and peace and hope begins.”1 With a motto of “Creating Play, Building Hope”2
Playground Clearing House specializes in playground safety, playground surface testing, and accident evaluation. Since the 1990's, Playground Clearing House has worked closely with Alpha Automation in the development of the Triax 2000, a surface impact tester (SIT). Paul Bamburack, the president of Alpha Automation, assisted Paul Hogan, the founder and president of Playground Clearing House, in the research and development of the Triax 2000 and its resulting acceptance by the ASTM International (ASTM). Paul and his son, Orin Hogan, offer their playground surface impact testing equipment for sale and provide safety and evaluation services.1
Presented by the International Playground Contractors Association (NPCAI) and written by Curtis and Nicole Stoddard, the Playground Construction School Course Manual is a course manual which covers start to finish details of constructing a playground as well as information on support organizations, safety standards, and business regulations. A professional playground installer himself, Curtis Stoddard understands that “the installer is the final link in the playground process. Every playground builder has the responsibility to build the playground according to manufacturers’ specifications, industry safety guidelines, and ethical standards.”1
1. Stoddard, Curtis and Nicole Stoddard. Playground Construction School Course Manual.
Playground Medic, based in Hawthorne, New York, is committed to making playgrounds safe “through identification of hazards and maintenance of playgrounds.”1 They achieve this through playground audits or inspections, maintenance and repair of playground equipment, and seminars to train playground staff, day care workers, and teachers aides.
The playground movement in America began as an answer to the industrial revolution realities of crowded cities and long work days. Hand-in-hand with the settlement houses being formed in the late 19th century, the playground movement sought to save the poor, immigrant, and homeless children from unhealthy crowded tenement neighborhoods. The reformers believed that “supervised play could improve the mental, moral, and physical well-being of children.”1
1. Bachrach, Julia Sniderman. “Playground Movement.” Encyclopedia of Chicago.
Playground Safety Is No Accident: Developing a Public Playground Safety and Maintenance Program was first published by The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) in 1992 through their National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) and the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA). The 2nd edition, printed in 1998, reflects the updated ASTM International (ASTM) F1487 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use.
Marcus Veerman, an Australian teacher, arrived in Mae Sot, Thailand in 2008 to build classrooms. Instead he found the greatest need was to build playgrounds to encourage “interaction, cooperation, experimentation, and imagination” that could be found outside the “call-and-response” teaching method used for up to six hours a day in a classroom.1
1. “Founders Story.” Go Play! < http://www.goplayproject.org/2010/06/founders-story/ > 14 July 2011.
Written by Alex Smith, PlayGroundology is a blog that “scours the web for all things bright, beautiful and occasionally tarnished about the world of playgrounds.” Unique and interesting playgrounds, both old and new, are highlighted as well as posts about design, art, history, advocacy groups, and civic engagement as they relate to playgrounds.1
Playgrounds, Their Administration and Operation was published in 1936 by A. S. Barnes and Company. Edited by George D. Butler for the National Recreation Association, the book addresses the concerns of playground administrators and their day to day operations.
When written, the playground movement was still in its early stages of development. The function of the playground was seen as meeting several needs for the community: a place to have fun, to acquire life skills, to play safely, to build a healthy body, to improve mental health, to develop character, and to reduce delinquency.
The book proposes that the ideal playground is a place where:
Peter Heseltine and John Holborn, coauthors of Playgrounds: The Planning, Design and Construction of Play Environments, re-examine how children relate to their environment and focus on the developmental needs of children as they learn and grow through play. Believing that play is a basic need for the development of children and that children are our society's “finest natural resource,” they seek in Playgrounds to shift the focus of playground design from adult concerns to child-centered play value.1
1. Heseltine, Peter and John Holborn. Playgrounds: The Planning, Design and Construction of Play Environments. New York: Nichols Publishing Company, 1987. p. 12.
Since the 1990s, PlayGuard Safety Surfacing has been manufacturing recycled rubber playground safety surfacing. As a brand of ECORE International, PlayGuard provides surfacing products for playgrounds as well as school gyms, sports centers, child day cares, indoor play areas, rooftops, and patios.
Trevor Field of South Africa watched as a group of African women waited for a wind to provide power for a windmill-driven pump so they could get water. In rural areas in Africa with lack of access to electricity to pump water, Trevor saw the plight of women and young girls as they waited for windmill-driven pumps or traveled distances to get water for their families, which was often not clean water. Because young girls are tasked with getting water, they often have a disproportionate disadvantage for an education.1
1. Murray, Ben. “Children's Merry-Go-Round Inspires Idea for Water Pump Systems in Africa.” TakePart. < http://www.takepart.com/news/2009/11/19/childrens-merry-go-round-inspires-ideas-for-water > 27 Feb. 2011.
PlaySafe LLC is a global recreational consulting and playground service provider supporting numerous government agencies, private organizations, and schools. Founded in 1997 by Sam “Butch” DeFillippo, this company aids its customers in the design, purchase and installation of the safety playground equipment. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, PlaySafe has certifications as National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) and National Recreation and Park Association Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP). They are members of the National Executive Development School Advisory Board, National Risk Management & Safety School Planning Committee, and NRPA Playground Maintenance Service Course’s Curriculum Task Force.
Playscapes – A Blog about Playground Design is written by Paige Johnson. Paige has challenged readers to explore with her unique solutions to children’s play in the landscapes around them. She highlights playgrounds from around the world with their interesting features and architectural designs that delight the eye as well as the children who enjoy them.
Playskool, Inc. manufactures preschool and infant toys that engage young children in play and learning. What began as the idea of two retired women schoolteachers continues today with the belief that “Play is nature's classroom.”1
Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, The PlayToday! Foundation was founded in July 2010 by Channing Proctor and Steve Hatton. Channing began the Charleston Miracle League, and Steve started the Summerville Miracle League in Summerville, South Carolina. The Miracle League gives children with special needs the opportunity to participate in playing the game of baseball on specialized fields.1
Playtop Safer Surfacing manufactures impact-absorbing wet-pour safety surfacing for play spaces and walkways at children's playgrounds. Designed to minimize the risk of injury to children who fall in playgrounds, the Playtop surfacing material is “a continuous, joint-free, porous material made from rubber granules and polyurethane binders.”1
Playwork is the support given by adults in an unobtrusive way of children’s open-ended, creative free play. During a play session, Playworkers are available to assist a child if needed, but strive to be as inconspicuous as possible to allow the children to direct their own play. Playworkers promote an adventuresome place for them to play, while keeping a watchful eye on them for their safety.1
1. Leichter-Saxby, Morgan. “What is Play? And Playwork?” Playeverything. < http://playeverything.wordpress.com/what-is-play/ > 3 Dec. 2010.
Playworks is a national, nonprofit organization that bolsters learning by providing safe, healthy, and inclusive play opportunities for school children.1 Founded by Jill Vialet under the name Sport4Kids, the name was changed to Playworks in July 2009.2
Playworld Systems was started in 1952 by owner and founder Robert Miller as QE Manufacturing Company, a producer of precision machine parts. In 1959, QE branched out to manufacture playground equipment. Because of the high demand, Robert’s son Dale introduced the company’s own line of precision playground products and launched Playworld Systems in 1971.1
The Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a nonprofit interactive museum for young children, which provides “learning opportunities through play” that lead to a “lifetime of learning and cultural awareness.”1 Their mission centers around being: playful and fun, creative and innovative, educational, safe and clean, diverse, child-centered, family-focused, and collaborative.2
Steven S. Plumb is an instructor and consultant for park maintenance and playground safety issues. For forty years he has been active in designing, installing, operating, and maintaining public playgrounds as well as teaching and consulting concerning playground safety and maintenance.
PolyFiberCrete is a lightweight synthetic concrete-sandstone textured material molded into solid play structures and site furnishings. Using a patented process of cellular concrete, polymer additives, molds, sand, air bubbles, and sandblasting, UPC Parks makes grip-textured climbing rocks and walls, caves, ledges, benches, planters, and playground sculptures.1 PolyFiberCrete retains the strength and value of concrete while offering an exceptional climbing grip texture.
1. “Patent application title: Composition and Method of Using the Same to Make a Simulated Rock Climbing Wall.” Patentdocs. < http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20080246179 > 25 April 2013.
Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. (PWLS) is a nonprofit football, cheer, and dance program for youth ages 5-16. PWLS requires all participants to maintain academic standards, recognizing that scholastics and athletics “go hand in hand.”1 While they provide fun athletic learning opportunities in football, cheer, and dance, they also emphasize “the ideals of sportsmanship, scholarship and physical fitness.”2
1. “About Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.” Pop Warner. < http://www.popwarner.com/aboutus/pop.asp > 18 Oct. 2011.
2. “The Pop Warner Mission.” Pop Warner. < http://www.popwarner.com/aboutus/mission.asp > 18 Oct. 2011.
Pop-Up Adventure Play (PUAP) is a “start-up social enterprise” that advocates and serves as a catalyst for play opportunities for children, families, and communities. PUAP’s work is greatly influenced by the international adventure playground movement and the United Kingdom’s profession of playwork. Operating primarily in the United States and the UK, the mission of PUAP is “to advocate for children’s hands-on and self-directed play within communities of supportive adults.”1
Caroline Pratt (1867-1954) was an innovative educator who as part of the progressive movement, Pratt developed teaching methods that focused on play as an alternative to what she felt was the “repression of formal education” of that time.1
1. “History of City and Country School.” City and Country School. < http://cityandcountry.org/about-us/history/ > 30 Nov. 2011.
The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) is an advisory committee whose mission is to educate and empower Americans to live a healthy lifestyle which includes regular physical activity and good nutrition.1
1. “Mission Statement.” President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. < http://www.fitness.gov/about-us/what-we-do/mission-statement/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
John Preston was born in England and grew up during the Second World War. He received a degree from Kingston Technical College in Mechanical Engineering. After immigrating to the United States in 1962, he worked for the National Bureau of Standards, which is now known as the National Institute for Standards and Technology. He also worked for the newly-formed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While working for NHTSA, he wrote and presented many papers on various aspects of safety at the annual conventions of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Pretend play is a form of symbolic play where children use objects, actions or ideas to represent other objects, actions, or ideas using their imaginations to assign roles to inanimate objects or people.
Toddlers begin to develop their imaginations, with sticks becoming boats and brooms becoming horses. Their play is mostly solitary, assigning roles to inanimate objects like their dolls and teddy bears.1
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. 23.
Comprising 34 biographies of men and women in the Robert W. Crawford Recreation and Park Hall of Fame, Profiles in Leadership honors “some of the forgotten giants in this field who have paved the way for today's leaders.”1 In doing so, Profiles in Leadership also provides a history of the public recreation and park movement in America.
1. Finkleman, Lois G. and Chuck Wilt. Preface. Profiles in Leadership. By Charlie E.Hartsoe, M. Douglas Sanders, and Meredith Bridgers. Champaign: Sagamore Publishing. 2009. p. vii.
Founded in 1990, Project Fit America (PFA) is a national non-profit public charity committed to physical fitness for children. Sponsored by numerous hospitals, foundations, and health organizations, Project Fit America donates to schools, grades K-8, broad-based fitness programs, which is in over 750 schools across the United States.1
1. “Who We Are.” Project Fit America. < http://www.projectfitamerica.org/who_are_we.html > 24 Jan. 2011.
Proprioception is an automatic sensitivity mechanism in the body that sends messages through the central nervous system relaying information to the body about how to react to stimuli and with what amount of tension. The muscles, joints, and connective tissues contain specialized sensory receptors that enable the body to process the information and turn that information into action. The skin, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and other senses coordinate together to communicate with the brain about muscle tension, weight shifts, load, and range of motion.1
A protrusion on playground equipment is a projection that has the potential to cause bodily injury to a user who comes in contact with it.1 Protrusions are not allowed to be on playground equipment. A Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) uses his projection gauges to determine whether projections are protrusions.2
Protrusions can be as small as a nail or bolt, or as large as a handhold or rung that is projecting out from play equipment.
1. “Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use.” ASTM International (ASTM) standard F1487-07, 3.1.29, p. 4.
Providence Children's Museum is an interactive hands-on museum designed to “inspire learning through active play and exploration.”1 They believe in the vital role that unstructured child-led play has in facilitating both learning and creativity. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, they serve southern New England children ages 1-11 years and the adults in their lives.