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There is no better time to go to the park than on a warm sunny day. While the sun is known for its health benefits, such as helping the body to produce vitamin D, there are also serious reasons to make shaded spaces on your playground where families can escape the rays. During the peak times of the day, the sun can be intense enough to cause problems such as sunburns and overheating that can ruin the perfect day. Fortunately, there are tons of options from which you can choose to add shade structures to your playground design that enhance the overall usage of the area.

Keep the Fun Going With Playground Shades

Once kids hit the playground, they rarely want to stop playing just to avoid the sun. Make things easy for parents by adding shades to popular areas of the playground where children tend to spend the most time. A shade that covers the toddler area allows the littlest visitors to your playground a place where they can explore features such as color wheels and spinners without being in direct sunlight for too much time.

Provide a Comfortable Sitting Area With Pergolas and Gazebos

Commercial gazebos are traditionally round with a full roof overhead that provides complete shade for families who need a respite from the heat. Pergolas are typically rectangular, and can have a full roof or one made out of slats that allow some sunlight to filter in. Both of these options are perfect places for a family to enjoy a picnic or to host a party. 

You can also place these close to the playground so that families with young infants can escape the sun while the older kids play. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies under the age of six months out of direct sunlight, a few benches or picnic tables in these areas are the ideal place for families to dote on the little ones while the rest of the kids hit the play area.

Cool Athletes Off With Shaded Baseball Dugouts

Designing a sports complex requires you to pay careful attention to how the sun hits the field. While athletes plan to spend some time in the sun, they also need a place to cool off. You can use our shaded baseball dugouts to give players a place to rest and enjoy the shade before they head back out on the field.

Set Up Space for Events With a Covered Amphitheater

One of the most versatile shade structures that you can add to your playground design is a covered amphitheater. Here, your community can host educational events without worrying about making people sit in the heat of the sun. Concerts, lectures, and other public events are always more fun outdoors, and a roof overhead allows them to take place even in the sunniest weather.

Choose Shade

Shaded structures can be designed to blend into the overall design of your landscape, or they can be made to stand out. Make sure to add several shade features so that you increase the use and enjoyment of your outdoor facility.

Show Me Some Shade Structures!

Posted by Matt Miller

When you are designing a venue that will be open to the public, you know that first impressions are everything. While beautiful landscaping and an innovative layout is important for any public venue or park, there is nothing like a well-designed custom entrance gate for making people feel welcome. As you work with your playground designer, consider having the right entrance that makes a positive impression on visitors.

Make the Location Easy to Find

Many venues welcome visitors from all over the world who may not always know their way around town. While technology has made it easier to get close to a location, visitors may have trouble finding your park if it is nestled among other venues or in a rural area. Getting lost or searching for your location is stressful for anyone, and this can ruin a visit before it even starts. For this reason, a custom entrance gate is one of the most important pieces of park equipment that you can put out there. With the right gate, your venue can easily be identified even from a busy highway. 

Add a Touch of Beauty to Security

Increased security is important for keeping your visitors safe, and families always welcome additional features that can protect their kids. However, large metal gates with bars and other security features can seem stark at first glance. With a custom entrance gate, you get the best of both worlds. Whether you add a whimsical animal character or include a logo with bold colors, the guests will remember the beauty of the archway rather than a harsh line of metal bars.

Inspire Interest in the Theme

People come to your venue for a reason, and the front gate helps set the tone for the experience. We can create customized features such as dinosaur bones for a science-themed playground to go on the archway, or we can create an elegant entrance to honor the park’s donors. Seeing the theme reflected from the moment they arrive, gives guests a positive impression of the venue that just gets better as they explore your space. 

Generate Awareness on Social Media

Whether you are designing the entrance for a zoo or veteran’s memorial park, you should also be thinking about ways to increase the public’s interest in visiting the venue. Today, everyone loves to take and post selfies on their favorite social media platforms, and a gorgeous archway is the perfect place for people to pose and remember their special occasion. Once those photos are posted online, the custom gate becomes the first impression of your venue to potentially thousands of other people. Having the name of your spot placed directly in the focal point of the photos gets people excited about planning a visit. 

Final Thoughts

The entrance to any location always sets the stage for what’s to come once people pass through the gates. Now that you understand why the right entrance matters, you can get started on planning one that reflects your venue’s purpose and theme so that everyone enjoys their visit from start to finish. 

Check Out More Entranceways!

Posted by Matt Miller

Playground Safety Guide

April 10th, 2019

Playground Safety Guide

To ensure children’s safety on the playground, it is important to recognize different hazards, common sources of injury, and how to mitigate situations. Guidelines set up by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) help parents, caregivers, and education personnel create playground environments that are safe and inviting to all.

Understanding Playground Fall Risks

A recent study of playground equipment-related incidents found that 44% of treated emergency room injuries came from falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that emergency departments see more than 20,000 children annually for playground-related traumatic head injuries.

  • Fall surfaces should be made from shock absorbing material like wood chips or rubber.
  • The area under/around fall zones should be a minimum of 6 feet in all directions.
  • Ladders steeper than 65 degrees should have hand grips and stairs with handrails on both sides.

Best Supervisory Practices

Because children can be expected to use playground equipment in unintended ways, adult supervision is recommended. Supervisors should be aware that not all playground equipment is appropriate for all children as different age groups differ in size, ability, intellect, and sociability.

  • Children under four years should not play on horizontal ladders or climbing equipment.
  • “Whirls” or “roundabouts” are best suited for children 5 to 12 years of age.
  • Ensure that there is a line of sight to all areas of the playground to keep track of children as they move.

Ensuring Children’s Safety

Supervisors should always stay aware of playground equipment upkeep and maintenance requirements. If equipment is found to be unsafe, report the problem to the park district or school to prevent any possible injuries. 

  • Metal or wood swing seats should be replaced with soft seats that will not splinter or burn children.
  • All corners should be rounded and smooth, with rolled or round capped edges.
  • Regularly check for signs of wear and tear and broken or missing components.

Be a Safety Leader!

By being aware of the hazards and conditions of playgrounds, supervisors can bring a greater level of safety to their children. In both public and private playground settings, it is important to supervise children’s safety while still encouraging them to explore and develop. All playgrounds present some challenges, but being attentive and mindful will ensure all children’s safety during play.

Posted by Matt Miller

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