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Restoring your rubber playground surface with a Roll Coat application

Rubber playground surfaces, referred to as pour-in-place (PIP) surfacing, are a great investment for your public playground, but may require restoration through a Roll Coat topping. Unfortunately, rubber playground surfacing is not a maintenance free option and you’ll see that through normal use and exposure to elements, the surface will start to degrade from:

  • fading and discoloration,
  • thinning of the top course through the loss of granules around high traffic areas
  • peeling off of shredded rubber when using a bonded rubber
school logo with older rubber playground surface

Faded rubber without roll coat

Restored with roll coat applied to rubber playground surface

Read the rest of this story here- restore faded darkening rubber playground surfacing with a roll coat layer , where we’ll be migrating all of our content.

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Save Thousands With a Community Built Playground

Save Thousands With a Community Built Playground

One of the best ways to stretch your playground budget is by having a community build… You’ll find the complete  article at our new site dedicated to playground planning We can’t have duplicate copy out there, so we’re saving the good tips for tips and tools for saving thousands and installing your community playground. Considering installations run between 25-40% of your total budget, it can be a disappointment to know that $6000 of a $10000 budget actually goes toward the equipment, while the rest is applied to installation/shipping/mulch/borders/taxes, etc. Those who work on a community built playground project gain a sense of ownership and responsibility toward the finished project, and the pride felt by the volunteers in their accomplishment translates into pride toward the school or the community. You’d be surprised the number of people willing and able to put their tools & efforts to work. Continue reading Save Thousands With a Community Built Playground

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Are there Georgia safety standards for public playgrounds?

Are there Georgia safety standards or regulations for public playgrounds?

Read the complete story here: Playground Safety in Georgia, what do you need to know?  While the national safety standards for playground equipment as established by ASTM and CPSC are still considered as “voluntary standards”, each state may have its own criteria. The Childinjurylawyerblog has a great summary of Georgia daycare center playground rules and regulations.

You can download the Georgia Daycare Center Playground Area Standards here. The outdoor play area requirements begin on page 3.

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FAQ's for Accessible Playgrounds--Are They Enforceable?

FAQ’s for Accessible Playgrounds–Are They Enforceable?

As law, no they haven’t been enforced–yet.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. In 2000, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board issued a final rule in the form of accessibility guidelines to serve as the basis for standards to be adopted by the Department of Justice for new construction and alterations of play areas by the ADA.–as from the National Program for Playground Safety website.

Please visit our post on Accessible Playgrounds – What are They and What’s Enforceable?

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Must-Have List for Designing Your Playground

Must-Have List for Designing Your Playground

Good design involves balancing your children’s needs, volume, age distribution, developmental aspects, and site conditions. Assess your present space by drawing a rough diagram. Include the seasonal aspects of your layout including sunlight, wind direction, snow/ice/rain. Observe the following:

  • type and amount of natural materials
  • small vs. large space
  • topographical features, e.g. steep slopes, trees, rocks
  • shared spaces with other age groups
  • shaded area–either hard shelter or shade structure

You’ll need assess the following site conditions:

1. Measure your site and scale to your drawing. Triangulate your area be placing flags that will act as your measuring points, e.g. pt A, pt B, pt C. You’ll then be able to take effective measurements as triangles. Once you have all sides to a triangle, e.g. A to B to C, you’ll be able to calculate your area. The site can be split into rectangles, triangles and circles as you place your flags. Continue reading Must-Have List for Designing Your Playground

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14 Layout Considerations for your Playground

14 Layout Considerations for your Playground

1. Organize zones to facilitate play and minimize conflicts, e.g. locate quiet play areas away from active spaces

2. Provide areas that encourage group interaction as well as places from solitary and partner play

3. Avoid putting high-activity zones close to transitional zones

4. Locate compatible play zones close together, e.g. creative play and social play can be placed adjacent

5. Design all play zones for child-initiated activity

6. Locate play areas for toddler and areas involving quiet, creative activities near the entry to building

7. Use low, natural partitions and different surfacing materials to define zones, i.e. EWF hardwood fibers around swings, and pour-in-place rubber surfacing around the playsystem

8. Use space wisely, leaving some areas open. Cluttered playground detracts from children’s explorations and cause injuries

9. Plan zones to take advantage of any prominent or unusual elements, e.g. physical area around a sloped designed for running

10. Be sure that equipment landscaping do not interfere with visual supervision. Adults must have a clear line-of-sight

11. Retain as many existing trees, shrubs, and other landscaping as possible.

12. Locate equipment away from dumpsters, heavy traffic and loud noises. Plant trees or build fences and visual barriers to block nuisances.

13. Make sure site is accessible for maintenance and emergency equipment

14. Use your imagination. Paint stones, create a mural, make hand prints in cement. Cue children through the color, shape and type of materials that this is their place to play.

The following was adapted from Tracy Theemes’ “Let’s Go Outside! Designing the Early Childhood Playground”

If you’re looking for a fundraising partner or program, don’t forget to review the Fundraising Resources pages on the top right tab.  If you are located in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, or North Carolina and would like assistance with designing your playground,  please contact us at www.korkat.com

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The Sensory Rich Playground

The Sensory Rich Playground

Young children learn by using all of their senses, so your playground should offer as many experiences as possible. The more sensory experiences, the more is learned and gained during development.  The playground should include the following sensory areas:

  • Visual
  • Vestibular
  • Tactile
  • Kinesthetic/Proprioception
  • Auditory

Visual: Adults tend to look at the functional aspect of playgrounds that includes the natural coloration and a traditional theme.  Oft times, the natural looking playground is aesthetic for the adult rather than the child.  It’s rare that the typical child-oriented environment consists of typical natural coloration, i.e. beige, green, brown.  More likely, a playground with a variety of shapes, colors, and forms will offer the most stimulation and improve spatial perception. Continue reading The Sensory Rich Playground

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7 Critical Steps for Planning a Playground Layout

7 Critical Steps for Planning a Playground Layout

Before choosing the actual layout for your playground, it’s helpful to have an overall plan or design for the placement of furnishings.  You will want to organize the space in a way that will promote physical and social play while minimizing conflicts.  The following is called the zoned approach and was outlined in Esbenson in his book “The Early Childhood Playground: An Outdoor Classroom”. Similar to the way a classroom is arranged  into specific areas or centers, small groupings of functionally separate outdoor play areas called zones can enrich children’s interaction withe the equipment, nature, adults, and one another.  Instead of having one large, central structure that attempts to provide a variety of experiences and activities for children, each zone includes several smaller, related activities and pieces of equipment. This allows more active play areas to be separated from areas that involve less noisy creative of manipulative activities and can help minimize the tendency for louder, bigger boys to dominate a play structure.
Esbenson outlines seven distinct zones:

1. Transition zone: The area between your building and thee playground or between different play zones.  This area allow children time  and space to decide where they want to go as they enter the playground.  This can include open space, or seating areas.

2. Manipulative/Creative Zone: Although a place for large-motor activities, fine-motor activities can also be promoted outside.  The zone can include a table, ease with paints, or panels with manipulatives. Continue reading 7 Critical Steps for Planning a Playground Layout

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How Can We Compare These Playground Designs?

Comparing your playground designs

Be sure your playground incorporates as many play experiences as possible.  Remember, it isn’t always the number of play events that are on a play structure that make it a good value, but the value of the play itself.

As an example, let’s compare Playground A vs.  Playground B

Playground A contains a 3 foot slide three-foot climber 4 foot slide and eight activity panels for a total of 11 activities. Playground B has the same three foot slide and climber, but also a six foot 360° slide and an eight foot slide and climber;  instead of monkey bars a spinning device; and tow rock climbers.  Although B only has 10 activities and costs $1750 more, it is without question, the better value.  Why? Children have slides and climbers at three different deck heights on Playground B.  It also has motion incorporated; and imaginative play that accompanies the unique climbing experience of the Climbing wall.  Although Playground A has more activities and costs less seven of those activity panels don’t compel kids to return.  Don’t forget to reference the Fundraising Resources page on the top right tab, for products and resource to help you with your playground fundraiser.  If you are located in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and would like additional advice as to making the most of your existing playground budget, please contact us at www.korkat.com

Playground A
Playground B
Slides 3′ & 4′ deck heights 3′ slide, 6′ 360 Slide, 8′ Slither slide
Climbers 3′ chain net, monkey bars Climbing Wall
Panels Tic Tac Toe Panel 8′ Inclined climbing wall
7 additional panels 5′ Whirlwind Climber
Lookout deck w/binoculars- 8′ high
New Twister spinning device
Gears panel & Driving Panel (ground level)
Total Components 11 10
Price $11, 750 $13, 500
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5 ways to stretch your playground budget

Stretching your playground budget:

Here are a few ideas to help make the most of your hard-earned funds.  As an example, here’s how your funding will normally break down with a typical turn-key project:

Description Percentage
Equipment
60%
Installation
28%
Playground Borders
7%
Mulch/In-fill
10%
Taxes/Shipping
5%
Total
100%

  1. Sales promotions- Make sure that you’re able to take advantage of any of several substantial sales taking place throughout the year.  Discounts range from 20%-30% & may include free items!!
  2. Community Build-The next largest portion of your budget is given to installation.  We can provide the option to supervise your project if you have a committed group of volunteers willing to donate their weekend, tools, & their sweat (only consider for projects >$14000)
  3. Self-install- Playland offers detailed instructions intended for the layman with no experience installing playground equipment.  Our industry partners choose Playland for their explicit instructions and ease of installation.
  4. Lease Option- Installment payment options are available for those with cashflow variances.  This is a suitable alternative to Phased-in projects.
  5. DIY mulch/in-fill & borders- We’ll let you know how much mulch is necessary to meet today’s safety standards so you can shop your local providers.  Borders are largely just a containment for your in-fill and there are several options that can be purchased locally including: wood, conduit, rubber, playground timbers.

If you are located in Georgia/Alabama/Tennessee/North Carolina and would like additional advice as to making the most of an existing budget, please contact us at www.korkat.com

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