Playground Question

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the importance of outdoor play.  This week, I’d like to change it up a little and specifically ask for your input. 

We may be opening another Center, this one in southern California.  Since this is new construction, we can design it from the ground up (depending upon our client’s budget, anyway).  I’ve been reading a lot about natural playgrounds and am very intrigued.  They look like they could be endlessly fascinating for children and very aesthetically pleasing. 

I am very concerned about how our local Licensing agency would accept such a playground; there are inherent risks involved with providing logs and stones for children to walk across.  The natural playgrounds representative that I spoke with assured me that Licensing cannot, legally, require any greater safety measures than the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials require.  But, realistically, anyone in child care knows that, if a Licensing representative doesn’t like the way I’m doing something, they will find some way to make my life more difficult. 

My questions for you are:

  • What sort of playground do you have?
  • What are the positives and negatives of your playground?
  • What would you change about your playground if you could?
  • Do you or anyone you know have a natural playground?
  • If so, how what are the positives and negatives of that playground?
  • How does the Licensing agency view the playground?
  • From what you know, would you build a natural playground for your program if you could?

Thanks in advance for the help!  (If we get a dialogue started on this blog, pop me an email with a subject you would like to discuss and we can throw that out to the group as well.)

Misty