The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) was created in October of 1995 to help communities across the nation examine the critical issues surrounding playground safety. S.A.F.E. is an acronym created by NPPS and used in its National Action Plan to help the public create safe play environments for children. The purposes of the National Action Plan and the S.A.F.E. acronym are to provide a blueprint for playground safety.1
1. “S.A.F.E.--National Action Plan.” National Program for Playground Safety. < http://www.playgroundsafety.org/safe/index.htm> 3 Feb. 2011.
Safe Kids USA started as the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, a U.S. nonprofit organization, which was founded by Martin R. Eichelberger, M.D. and Herta Feely in 1988. Dr. Eichelberger, as head of the emergency trauma unit at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, saw many injuries to children that could have been prevented.1 Unintentional childhood injury is the leading cause of death and disability for children under the age of 14. At that time, there were no programs to prevent childhood injuries before they happened. The organization’s founding sponsor was Johnson & Johnson.
1. Hunter, Jeff. “National Safe Kid Campaign looks to Expand into Playground Safety.” Today’s Playground, March 2001. p. 50.
In 2004, representatives from 14 countries joined Safe Kids USA to create a global non-profit global organization called Safe Kids Worldwide, which is located in Washington, DC. In 2010, they had 19 member countries across the globe. The mission of the organization is to “work together to educate families, create safer environments, and advocate for improved laws to protect children.”1 The founding sponsor of this organization is FedEx.
Safe Kids Worldwide coalition members:
1. “How We Work.” Safe Kids Worldwide. < http://www.safekids.org/worldwide/how-we-work/ > 17 Aug. 2010.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership is a network of organizations dedicated to creating “safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools.”1 In doing so, they seek to reduce traffic congestion, improve the air quality around schools due to the reduction of traffic, and to increase children's activity and thereby reduce the risk of obesity and obesity-related health problems.2
1. “Quick Facts.” Safe Routes to School National Partnership. < http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/mediacenter/quickfacts > 10 Oct. 2011.
Safeplay by Design is a company focused on safe play spaces through playground designs and improvement plans, construction management for parks and similar projects, safety inspections for playgrounds and sports fields, impact testing, safety trainings and inspection programs, and playground surface safety scanning. They also provide ADA compliance inspections and expert witness testimony.
Safeplay Systems is a commercial playground design, manufacturer, and installation company that offers the EcoPlay products of play structures, swings, fitness equipment, surfacing, and site amenities.1
1. “EcoPlay by Safeplay Systems.” Safeplay Systems. < http://www.safeplaysystems.com/ > 9 April 2012.
Safety Play Inc. is a company that offers safety services and products for playgrounds, sports fields, and recreation areas. They offer safety inspections and audits, safety classes and programs, inspection tool kits and signs, play space planning and designing, and expert witness services. They believe that “Recreation safety should be NO ACCIDENT!”1
Scott Burton founded Safety Play, Inc. in 1988 and was a playground and recreation equipment manufacturer for eleven years. Safety Play, Inc. does not sell playground equipment, surfacing, or parts, nor do they perform maintenance or repair equipment.
The Säjai® Foundation was formed in 2006 by Barb King to “educate and motivate youth ages 6 to 11 to make healthy choices that will serve them for a lifetime.”1 As a Minnesota based nonprofit organization, the foundation works with local communities in educating children to include “healthy eating, physical activity, and outdoor exploration” in their lives.2 The Säjai Foundation is also using these key lifestyle choices to combat childhood obesity.
Dr. James Sallis is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Active Living Research Program. With a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Psychology, a master's degree in Psychology, and a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology, Dr. Sallis has researched and written extensively on physical activity and human behavior.1
1. “Education.” Dr. James Sallis. < http://www.drjamessallis.sdsu.edu/Education.htm > 6 Sep. 2011.
Sand is a granular material composed of fine rock and material particles. Geologists use the term sand grain as a particle ranging in diameter from 0.0625mm to 2 mm; with the next larger size class being termed gravel and the smaller size class is silt. Sand is graded as fine, medium, and coarse.1
1. Hopen, Thomas J. “What Is Sand?” The International Sand Collector’s Society. <http://www.sandcollectors.org/What_is_Sandx.html> 14 July 2010.
Sand play areas for children in large cities were originally known as sand gardens and were subsequently called playgrounds as their popularity increased. The introduction of sand gardens in Boston in 1886 has been credited as the beginning of the playground movement in America. Even though the German play movement had gained strength in America in the early 1820s when a crude outdoor gymnasium with gymnastic equipment was built in Salem, Massachusetts, interest in using the outdoor gymnasium dwindled. The explosive excitement of the sand gardens experiment that began in 1886 established the beginning of the playground movement.1
1. Frost, Joe L. A History of Children’s Play and Play Environments. New York, NY: Routledge. 2010. pp. 92-93.
Sandbox Summit is a series of conferences that undertake the mission to discover how technology affects the ways children play, learn, and connect with others. As technology becomes more pervasive in the lives of children, the goal of Sandbox Summit is “to ensure that the next generation of players becomes active innovators rather than passive consumers of technology.”1
1. “About Us: The Sandbox Summit Story.” Sandbox Summit. < http://www.sandboxsummit.org/aboutus.html > 19 April 2011.
Scaffolding is an instructional technique that provides support to a learner to build on his prior knowledge helping him internalize new concepts or perform more difficult tasks.1 The process is much like a scaffolding used as a temporary support system for a building until the task is completed and it can stand on its own. The assistance provided by a more knowledgeable person to help another learn to perform a task is a temporary framework that is gradually removed as the learner masters the task.2
School Specialty is an education company that provides proprietary products, programs, and services to help educators engage and inspire students of all ages and abilities to learn. The company designs, develops, and provides preK-12 educators with curriculum, supplemental learning resources, and school supplies. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help educators, guidance counselors, and school administrators encourage students to reach their full potential.1
Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, the Schoolyard Habitats program reconnects children to nature through outdoor classroom environments that attract and support local wildlife. Wildlife habitats on school grounds encourage students to use their academic skills, curiosity, and creativity to learn about local ecosystems and wildlife species.
The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) launched The Sara Lee Schupf Family Center for Play, Science, and Technology Learning (SciPlay) in September 2010. Sara Schupf created the Center to engage more children with science concepts and scientific thinking through outdoor playgrounds. Her goal for SciPlay was both to inspire children's interest in science through outdoor playgrounds and to encourage teachers to utilize the playground as an avenue for science learning.1
1. Saldutti, Catherine C. and Kiran D. Purohit. “SciPlay Phase I: Situating the Project in the Literature.” SciPlay, Learning Science Through Play. 2009. < http://www.nysci.org/media/file/sciplay-secondary-research-compilation-final.pdf > 8 Sep 2011.
Self-esteem can be defined as what a person’s unconscious believes to be true about his value, worthiness, and competence. Messages received from others are unconsciously accepted as facts no matter how legitimate or based in reality they are. Therefore, one’s self-esteem is continuously constructed and reconstructed by others’ verbal and non-verbal messages.1 Children’s self-esteem affects how they approach their world.
1. “A Three Factor Operational Definition of Self-Esteem.” California State University, Los Angeles – Classroom Management Resource Site. < http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/jshindl/cm/Self-esteem.htm > 08 Sep. 2010.
Self-regulation is the ability to control and manage one’s own thoughts, feelings, and actions. For a child, good self-regulation can be demonstrated simply by raising his hand when asking a question in class or in a more complex way by controlling his feelings when angry or frustrated.1 A child with poor self-regulation is often impulsive, hypersensitive to transition, and tend to overact to minor challenges or stressors. He may be physically hyperactive or may be withdrawn and inattentive.2
1. Hoffman, Todd. “Self-Regulation: The Key to Successful Students?” Education.com. < http://www.education.com/magazine/article/self-regulation-children/ > 17 Feb. 2011.
The interaction of the mind and the body comes through the experiences of the senses. These experiences then contribute to brain development.1 Countless amounts of sensory information enter the brain all the time from not only the eyes and ears, but also from every area of the body. The brain organizes and integrates all of these sensations to help the person function normally.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. 208.
When Shane Alexander was born to Catherine Curry-Williams and Scott Williams in 1997, he was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which prohibited him from moving or breathing on his own. He died a few weeks later from this genetic disorder. Had he lived, he would have been confined to a wheelchair.1
Shlomi Golan founded ShapesInShape, Inc., a fitness research firm and developer of exercise programs, in 2000. As a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Shlomi conducted research on wellness and effective exercise programs.1 He also formulated indoor and outdoor exercise programs for weight control and for strengthening muscles.
Signs and labels on and around playground equipment provide information and user education about playgrounds. They are also an important part of a playground safety program. Some types of signs are required and some are recommended. Some required signs have specific wording specified.1
The signs and labels typically associated with playgrounds are as follows:
1. Kutska, Kenneth. Playground Safety is No Accident, Fourth Edition. International Playground Safety Institute, 2009.
Dorothy Singer is a research scientist, professor, consultant, and author who focuses on early childhood development, the effects of television on youth, and the importance of imaginative play.1 She believes that “play is crucially important to children's intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development” and is seeking to “reintroduce play and joyful learning into our schoolrooms and our living rooms.”2
1. “Dorothy G. Singer.” A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool. < http://www.mandateforplayfullearning.com/about.html > 15 Nov. 2011.
New York City-based Lenore Skenazy is a syndicated columnist constantly examining the curious realities of daily life, from S.A.T.-prep shower curtains for students to pricey bottled water for dogs. In her weekly writings she runs humor contests, hosts public forums, and weighs in on topics both crucial and quirky.
Sledding is a popular winter activity for the whole family. Since sleds are relatively inexpensive and snow-covered sledding hills are free, sledding provides a great opportunity for children to enjoy the outdoors and nature while offering good physical exercise and fun.
The Slinky toy has been enjoyed by generations of children since its introduction in 1946. It is a simple toy made of a coiled spring that is advertised with words to describe the many actions children can make it do: walk, bounce, spring, juggle, flip, and jiggle. The Slinky is described with the slogan, “The original walking spring toy walks down stairs,” and this feat fascinates children and adults alike when demonstrated.1
Slyde the Playground Hound is a character created by Curtis Stoddard to teach playground safety awareness to children ages 2-12 years of age. As a playground contractor, Curtis observed that, “For all the strides the playground industry had made for manufacturing and installing playgrounds that are safe, there was still a lack of understanding about the inherent dangers of playground by the users, children.”1
1. “School Safety in the Spotlight.” Idaho Press, 31 Jan. 2003.
Snug Play systems were inspired by the Experimental Playground Project that started in 2000 in the United Kingdom. The Project allowed children to try out new ideas for the design of their playground using wooden pallets, traffic cones, cardboard tubes, chalk, and fabric. What resulted was a highly innovative playground design that inspired other schools to experiment in the same way with their children.1
Soccer is a simple team sport that is enjoyed by children as young as three years of age. The game is an inclusive activity that involves children of varying shapes and size, since the physical size of the players is not an important factor in their success as players. Soccer requires the ability to run up and down the playing field while the game is in play, which is a good aerobic exercise that builds stamina.1
1. Grahame, Anthony. “Why Is Soccer Good For Kids?” Livestrong.com. < http://www.livestrong.com/article/167681-why-is-soccer-good-for-kids/ > 12 April 2012.
SofSURFACES Inc. designs, manufactures, distributes, and installs fitness center flooring, roof tops, and playground safety surfacing. Based in Petrolia, Ontario, Canada, they produce an impact attenuating, interlocking surfacing tile system manufactured from recycled rubber.
SofSURFACES was founded in 1989 by two brothers, John and Ben Prins.1 At that time they provided poured-in-place (PIP) playground surfacing for their region of Canada. Four years later in 1993, they expanded their business to include manufacturing playground equipment. Ben led the new company, Active Playground Equipment, while John continued to develop SofSURFACES.
1. Prins, Ben. Personal correspondence to Playground Professionals. 9 Dec. 2009.
It was 1984 when four innovators in a garage started Soft Play, a company that later would become known as the Architects of Play, thanks to their many years of designing and building playground equipment based on their customers’ needs. Company founders developed a safe alternative to traditional style playground equipment, quickly outgrowing the garage and earning the trust of some of America’s biggest brands.1
According the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 60-70% of all public playground equipment injuries are falls to the surface.1 Sof’Fall® was incorporated in 1992 in order to help alleviate this problem. They began to manufacture engineered, crushed, wood fiber, which would cushion the fall and be safer if children fell off of the playground equipment. This fiber is composed of softwoods and/or hardwoods, free of any bark or organic materials.
1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. “A Handbook for Public Playground Safety,” Volume II. p. 22
In 1982, Bond Anderson developed the musical playscape: a permanent outdoor installation of tuned musical instruments built to stand up to the weather and designed for the durability a playground setting requires.1 Bond’s master’s degree in flute performance laid the foundation to create and design these musical instruments to be played at parks, school grounds, museums, and backyards.2
1. Bond Anderson Musician, Designer, Master Craftsman. Sound Play. < http://soundplay.com/bond_and_meg.html > 23 Aug. 2010.
The Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) team of researchers and educators are focused on growing a healthier next generation of children1 through the development of healthy lifestyles, social and personal skills, motor skills, and movement knowledge.2 In 1989, they began to evaluate, create, and implement new approaches to elementary physical education.3
1. “FAQs.” SPARK. < http://www.sparkpe.org/what-is-spark/faqs/ > 17 Aug. 2011.
2. “Spark Objectives.” SPARK. < http://www.sparkpe.org/about-us/objectives/ > 17 Aug. 2011.
3. “About Us.” SPARK. <http://www.sparkpe.org/about-us/> 17 Aug.
David Spease is a landscape architect, contractor, playground safety instructor and inspector, teacher, lecturer, and CEO of Safeplay by Design, Inc. He believes that “children should be able to play for the fun of it without thinking about hazards.” Realizing that children learn by taking risks, his goal is to “minimize hazards so that the children can enjoy the risks.”1
David's educational experience includes earning his Associate of Arts degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Bakersfield College in 1964 and his Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture at California State Polytechnic University Pomona in 1968.
1. “Welcome to Safeplay by Design.” Safeplay by Design, Inc. < http://www.spease.com > 11 Dec. 2012.
Michael Spock began his career as the Director of the Boston Children's Museum in 1962. His unconventional educational background led him to approach revitalizing the museum with an experiential and informal platform. He began with a What's Inside? exhibit where children could see and explore the insides of ordinary objects, such as a toaster, baseball, or a drop of rainwater. At that time non-directive, open-ended exploratory exhibits were not common.1 That exhibit lasted five years and led the national transition to hands-on children's museums across America.
1. “Sidebar: What's Inside?” Boston Children's Museum. < http://bcmstories.com/stories-menu/chapter01-menu/103-sidebar-whats-inside > 5 Aug. 2011.
Michael Suk began his academic career with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in African-American History from Carleton College in 1990. From there he simultaneously earned a medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine (1997) and a law degree and a masters of public health degree from Boston University School of Law and School of Public Health (1995) with a special certificate in health care law.1 Michael's residency training was in orthopaedic surgery and his fellowship was in orthopaedic trauma.
1. “Michael Suk Biography.” US Play Coalition Conference on The Value of Play 2011. Keynote Speaker, 8 Feb. 2011.
The SuperBall is a small synthetic rubber ball that has the ability to bounce higher and longer than ordinary bouncing balls. When the SuperBall was introduced in the summer of 1965, it became an instant hit with children and adults alike who were fascinated with its amazing properties. More than 20 million SuperBalls were sold in the 1960s alone, and it was listed on the All-TIME 100 Greatest Toys list compiled by Time Magazine.1
1. Townsend, Allie. “SuperBall.” Time Magazine. < http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2049243_2048656_2049097,00.html > 3 May 2012.
Jim Dobmeier founded Surface America in 1993 in Cheektowaga, New York. As a subsidiary of ECORE, Surface America installs playground surfacing on approximately 500 playgrounds annually as well as gymnasium flooring, fitness flooring, indoor and outdoor surfacing, and trail and pathway surfacing. Their sister company, A-Turf, a synthetic grass surfacing company, was also founded by Jim and is also a subsidiary of ECORE.1
A suspended hazard is a non-rigid component such as a cable, wire or unattached swing chain that is suspended between play structures or from the ground to the play structure that is within 45 degrees of horizontal unless it is above 84 inches and is a minimum of 1” wide at its widest point. In addition, the rope, cable, or chain must be fastened at both ends and may not be capable of being looped back on itself creating an inside loop perimeter greater than 5 inches.1
The following are exceptions to this specification:
1. ASTM International (ASTM) Standard F1487-07a. “Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use,” Section 6.6, p. 8.
Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) promotes land development and management practices that are sustainable through generating less waste, minimizing impact on the landscape, and by using less energy, water, and natural resources. SITES is developing a national, voluntary rating system for sustainable landscapes and thus defining and quantifying sustainability for “those who design, construct, operate and maintain landscapes.”1
Dr. John Sutterby is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville and a leading outdoor play advocate for child development and societal justice. Believing that “play is necessary,” he agrees with the early playground movement leaders that “the playground would benefit society as well as the child.”1 One of his concerns is the inequity of park and play space locations for underserved communities.
1. Sutterby, John. “Social Capital: Bridging social networks for community vitality.” Words on Play – A Treatise on its value by leading play scholars. PlayCore, 2011. pp. 20-21.
As a lifetime student of play, Brian Sutton-Smith is one of the foremost play theorists of his time. With over sixty-five years observing, researching, and teaching in the fields of educational psychology and play theory, his work has resulted in more than 350 books and articles that are stored at the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play located at The Strong in Rochester, New York.1
1. “Brian Sutton-Smith Biograpy.” Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play. < http://www.libraryandarchivesofplay.org/about/bio > 5 April 2011.
Whether trying to cool off in warm weather or competing in a sporting event, swimming is enjoyed by children and adults alike and is listed as the second most popular sports activity in the United States. Swimming is great exercise, offers physical and mental health benefits, and is fun for the whole family.1
1. “Health Benefits of Water-Based Exercise.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. < http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/health_benefits_water_exercise.html > 9 Feb. 2012.
Swing safety is a very complex issue. There are three different types of swings, placement requirements, use zone requirements, requirements for the type of fasteners and suspending elements, and surfacing requirements that must all be taken into consideration.
The different types of swings include single axis or to-fro swings, multi axis swings, such as tire swings, and combination swings. Combination swings are a new style of swing for the U.S. They have been used in Europe for some time. The swings are designed for two people to use at a time.
When Thomas and Michelle Baer were looking for a quality backyard swing set for their family, they discovered that the only products available were very expensive, pre-cut wooden swing sets. Thomas decided to design a low-cost alternative wood swing set that included all the necessary hardware, except the lumber. They approached DRS Investment Group to suggest a partnership to manufacture and market do-it-yourself wooden home playground equipment kits and formed Swing-N-Slide in 1985 located in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Children through the years have enjoyed swinging, whether on the playground, at the park, or in the backyard. The back and forth motion of the swing can be both relaxing and exciting depending on the child’s play motivation. The sensations of flying and falling make swings one of the most popular pieces of equipment on the playground.
Symbolic play is the ability of children to use objects, actions or ideas to represent other objects, actions, or ideas as play. A child may push a block around the floor as a car or put it to his ear as a cell phone.1
1. “Foundation: Symbolic Play” California Department of Education. < http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/itf09cogdevfdsym.asp > 20 Aug. 2010.