Tag Archives: natural playgrounds for kids

Incorporating STEM on the Playground

Incorporating STEM on the Playground STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  STEM education is becoming increasingly important in our society as technology continues to advance and pervade all aspects of our lives.  But getting educated in STEM does not have to just take place in the traditional classroom.  STEM can also be incorporated in a big way into the »

Fun for Fun Sake – Hillslides and Custom Water Play

We love it when we create a new Outdoor Learning Environments at a childcare facility where the kids get involved in the construction.  It helps to broaden their learning process as they better understand how some of the things they use everyday were constructed.  We recently completed an Outdoor Learning Environment in the Seattle, WA area and during the construction of our custom water feature the kids put on their hard hats and pitched in »

PDPlay Partners with the U.S. Navy for Natural Playground Project

Last year, we were awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to build natural playgrounds at four separate bases in the U.S. for the families of Navy personnel to enjoy.  We recently completed the contract and are thrilled with the results! The playgrounds, located at child care centers on naval bases Kitsap-Bangor, Kings Bay, Murphy Canyon, and Pensacola, featured components such as local plants and boulders, mounds, and tree-surround seating areas to contribute to the authenticity of »

How Much Does a Natural Playground Cost?

Throughout the years, we’ve designed and built numerous natural playgrounds for schools, community centers, daycares, and more, and as with most purchases, one of the first questions we’re asked is: How much does a natural playground cost? While the question is straightforward the answer is not always so easy.  Cost depends on a variety of factors such as but not limited too the readiness of the proposed area, accessibility of the proposed area for crews »

5 Ways to Get Your Playground Back to School Ready

August is upon us, and for educators, that means one thing: school is right around the corner! While most back to school planning is focused inside of the classroom, it’s important to be prepared on the playground as well.  Outdoor play areas can provide kids with an ideal environment for exercising and exploring, socializing with friends, and connecting with nature; since these benefits are so crucial to childhood development, it’s important to make sure that defective equipment, loose hardware, and »

6 Simple Ways to Incorporate Nature Into Your Playground

Nature is the perfect learning environment for children to play with and among elements such as sand, water, and living plants. These components encourage physical and imaginative play, but are often overlooked in traditional commercial playground building. Creating an environment for children to fully reap the benefits of outdoor play is crucial, especially in a time when unstructured play is being overshadowed by television, video games,and other electronic amusements. At PDPlay, we’ve found a »

Rust Never Sleeps

Rust Never Sleeps The debate rages on regarding recycled plastic commercial play systems versus metal play systems. With metal play systems, you have the opportunity to create shapes such as angled and curved posts and overhanging components. Contrarily, commercial recycled plastic systems are more linear, as the material comes in nominal lumber sizes. The manufacturers of metal structures have developed two lines: the first is a true commercial system using large, 5″ OD metal »

What Exactly is a Hillslide?

Hillslides are one of the most popular components of our Outdoor Learning Environments, creating a more natural (and fun!) approach to an age-old playground favorite. But what exactly is a hillslide? In simple terms, a hillslide is exactly what it sounds like: a hill with a slide on it. That’s how many landscape architects, playground planners, and “so-called” natural playground designers think. Their designs include a hill, access steps, flowers, rocks, boulders, plants and »

Building Playgrounds from Recycled Plastic

Building Playgrounds from Recycled Plastic While building playgrounds from recycled plastic like milk containers may seem like a cool concept, at PDPlay, our work’s purpose is much more than that. We believe that the environment our children play in is as important as the playgrounds we create, which is why we have championed environmental responsibility for nearly two decades. But there’s more to the milk containers than just that; recycled plastic beats out traditional »

Outdoor Learning Environment at El Norte

Having been in the commercial playground industry for over 25 years, I have been asked to design some strange things: submarines, sand airplanes, spiral slides coming from the fifth floor of an office building down to the lobby, and even a bathroom-equipped tree house! In February of this year, we were asked to look at some very large stumps and logs from a eucalyptus tree that had been removed from a site where a low »