Friday, June 15, 2007

What Makes a Great Public Playground?

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Summer is here and with it comes trips to the local playground for a little frolic and fun. Sure, we all know that kids love to swing and slide and if you're lucky, your local playspace will accommodate these basic needs. But, what makes a great playground? What types of activities and equipment are going to stimulate your children so that they are getting most out of their playground experience?

"You will know it's a great place to play when your kids not only beg you to go, but beg you to stay longer," says Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child. "That's when you know you've hit the play jackpot!"

  Here is a list of key elements that make a great playspace:

Motion

A playspace should encourage kids to run, jump, toss, throw, hop, slide, swing, climb and MOVE. Play equipment should have moving parts: swings, activity panels and balance activities with movable parts.

Incorporates Nature

A great playspace should incorporate the natural world around it. A lot of green space is key for activity and elements such as sand and water give kids a dynamic environment that allows them to use their manipulative skills.

Interesting to Look At

Your local playground should look, sound and feel interesting. Sound, color and texture excite the senses and ignite your child's imagination.

Overhead Events

This is a fancy term for anything that makes kids use their upper bodies. Monkey bars, monorails, chain ladders and a whole lot more are all play components that encourage upper body development.

Balance

Balance is an important skill for children to develop -- and what's more, they usually have fun doing it! Playgrounds should have unusual balance elements, which test their participants' balancing savvy.

Multigenerational

A great playspace should be appealing to the entire family. Everyone should want to go and use the facility. An ideal space has plenty of shade elements, picnic tables as well as benches.

Website: http://www.kaboom.org/

For information on What makes a school playground great? Visit Peaceful Playgrounds.

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