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***Blog repost from manufacturer GameTime***

City of Davis, California recently completed the transformation of play spaces in five local parks. Each of the park playgrounds is updated with modern play systems compliant with current safety standards and ADA accessibility guidelines and designed for the specific needs of the surrounding neighborhoods. The project was made possible, in part, by grant funding from GameTime.

The new playgrounds were designed with assistance from Kelly Oakes of MRC Recreation, GameTime's exclusive representative for Northern California. Oakes worked closely with city leaders and recreation advocates to create play spaces that met the developmental needs of children and provided a high play value for the overall community. The project began in fall of 2018 and together they completed the revitalization of Slide Hill Park, Arroyo Park, Covell Greenbelt, Hacienda Park and Evergreen Park in time for summer.

Existing playground equipment at each of the parks was 20-30 years old and no longer met local or national standards for public parks. In some cases, the play activities weren't age-appropriate or developmentally beneficial for the children who used the parks. Special care was taken to create play environments that addressed specific needs today, as well as the community needs of the future. Spencer Cheak, president of GameTime, remarked, "What the City of Davis has done with the revitalization of these five beautiful parks promotes a higher quality of life for the people who visit today, and for generations of families to come. We are honored to be a part of the Davis community."

Each of the five new playgrounds throughout the City of Davis represents the ongoing commitment of the city's leaders to promote outdoor recreation, better health and wellness, and first-rate amenities for families. They were designed using evidence-based research from GameTime's parent company, PlayCore, and are recognized as National Demonstration Sites. As such, these spaces are more than places to play. They are community destinations that bring people together, break down barriers and improve the overall quality of life for everyone. Congratulations to the City of Davis! Every slide, climber, and swing open up new and unlimited possibilities for children's imaginations, physical development, and emotional well-being.

Posted by Matt Miller

Summer is here, and that means that families are searching for the best places to take their kids to enjoy a little fun. While an epic summer vacation is always great, some of the best family adventures can take place right there in your community. Spray parks are quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for families, child care programs and other neighborhood group outings. While it’s not hard to see why spray parks are so popular, it is exciting to see people enjoy the benefits of having one nearby.

Get Relief From the Heat

Kids are always asking to go to the playground. Yet, it is common for adults to be concerned about kids spending too much time running around in the sun. Splash pads give kids an easy way to cool off since all they have to do is run through a fountain to feel the heat just fade away. Splash pads are a great addition to the playground areas where kids can go back and forth between the features. You could include one as a standalone facility for people to visit when they want to play in the water without having to swim.

Enjoy Water Play in a Safe Environment

Visitors should always follow a few basic safety tips for visiting splash pads such as using sunscreen. However, it is also nice to have the backup of a place for kids to play in the water where safety features are included in the design. For instance, aquatic playground safety surfacing is skid-resistant and contains anti-microbial properties that allow kids to play without the fear of injuries. If your child is not yet swimming independently, then you can also enjoy watching as your child plays in a zero-depth environment.

Plan a Fun Experience for Diverse Groups

Trying to plan a summer adventure for groups that include people of varying ages and abilities is challenging. Fortunately, splash pads are designed with ADA standards in mind so that kids with limited mobility or sensory challenges are able to enjoy the experience. Splash pads can also be designed with areas for toddlers as well as older kids so that everyone can dive into the chance to play in the water.

Ditch the Guilt About Water Waste

In the past, many families had to rely upon home water sources such as sprinklers for their kids to enjoy some fun in the water. While kids rarely complain about getting to run through a sprinkler, that practice does often lead to significant amounts of water loss. Now, playground planners can choose from custom-themed designs for their splash pad installation. These include features such as sensors that can adjust the water flow to go where kids are actively playing. Since splash pads also use special water filtration and recycling systems, very little of this precious resource goes to waste.

Spray parks are filled with opportunities for kids to burn off their energy while adults enjoy the shade or join in on the fun. When you need a cool activity to do that requires very little planning, a trip to the spray park is the ultimate form of summer entertainment.

Click To See Splash Pad Projects

Posted by Matt Miller

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

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