Each Sunday a new Sneak Peek into the playground will be shared.
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – PrimeTime Swingset May, 2nd, 2021
Mila’s Hope & Rowyn’s Dreams Playground will have a large PrimeTime Swingset with 8 swings, featuring 4 different types of swings for children (and adults!) of all ages and abilities. Each pair of swings is a different color to showcase their unique features. The ADA PrimeTime Swing Frame color is Champagne. Our goal was to keep the swing set frame neutral for our autistic children and put the colors and focus on the swings.
Our Expression swing is GameTime’s first face-to-face, eye-to-eye playground swing that promotes attunement, or emotional bonding, between users. This is a patented piece for GameTime, our playground manufacturer. We loved it so much we bought two! We chose the color Butterscotch.
Next up we have two Zero-G chair swings for children ages 2 to 5. These swings are Green and the harnesses are Yellow. A lot of playgrounds we have seen would save money by buying just the larger swing size. We found in our experience that the little children cannot see over the harness and they slide around inside the swing. To some children this scares them. Notice on this swing and our next ones that the harnesses are different and are age appropriate.
Next up we have larger Zero-G swings for children ages 5 to 12. The swing color is Periwinkle, and the harness is Yellow. The children will learn after their first visit which one is their perfect size! That was the reason we chose two different colors.
Last but not least we departed from the norm that you normally see on playgrounds. We chose two NextGen seat swings. Adults love to swing also – I sure do! As anyone that has had the uncomfortable experience of trying to swing in a belt swing would tell you, these black horizontal seats are much more comfortable! In our experience children will take something and come up with 3 to 4 different ideas we would never have thought of on how to use a swing. These swings allow that imagination! They can stand on it and swing (trust me they will), littler ones can lie across it and push with their feet, and adults can now swing in comfort. I plan on it!
Now one last thing that most playgrounds never think about, but we did. It cost us extra to install anti-wrap swing hangers on the two seat swings. If anyone that is still school age can attest, it is frustrating to come out for recess to see your swings wrapped around the top of the swing frame. Easy for someone to do this but not easy to unwrap! We didn’t want any of the children to come to this park and find out they could not swing, or an adult that could not get the swings unwrapped safely. No worries, the anti-wrap rollers will prevent the swings from being wound around the top bar – the swings will always be ready for any child or adult to enjoy!
Lastly, we want to thank every individual, parent and family who lovingly sponsored all 8 of these swings for our children! One of the Expression swings and one 5-12 Zero-G swings was bought in honor of specific swing-loving children – Mila and Max – lucky children! Each swing’s cost included the swing, anti-wrap hangers, and swing frame plus the professional labor to install this swing set, purchased with lots of Love.
Stay tuned for next Sunday’s Sneak Peek!
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – The Importance of Color April 25th, 2021
Deciding on a color scheme for a children’s playground seems like a fun and easy task. Most people would automatically think of bright bold colors. In all actuality, it’s a bit more complicated. There are many things to consider when making color selections.
The equipment needs to be visually appealing to all types of eyes. Visually-impaired individuals need high contrast colors to denote changes in elevation. With that being said, some visually impaired individuals may pause or stumble at distinct color changes. For instance, when Mila is walking, she will pause and oftentimes misjudge surfaces that have contrasting colors. If she maneuvers from dark blacktop onto gray cement, she will stop and physically feel the ground with her foot. To her, the color change means the surface is different and possibly not at the same height. She doesn’t have the ability to quickly see it’s all the same level and just a different color.
When picking the playground structure colors, we wanted to utilize very saturated colors without them becoming over-stimulating. For instance, a bright red color is a great contrasting color to aid visually impaired individuals, but it can also be overwhelming for autistic people. We picked a neutral gray material for all the main decking on the play structure. This neutral base will allow us to use a narrow yellow stripe to denote steps and elevation changes. The gray color will also reduce some of the absorbed heat from the sun.
We decided to use bright blue as the color choice for the slides and climbing structures. Blue is a soothing color to a lot of individuals with sensory needs such as autism. It also won’t get as hot as some darker colors. Safety is our number one priority. Sliding down a sunbaked slide can be very painful. Oftentimes kids won’t think to feel the slide before they sit down on it.
The uprights will be the bright spring green color. Again for safety, having brightly colored support beams will reduce the hazard of running into them.
Finally, the metal rails and posts will all be the periwinkle purple color. The purple will pop against the gray decking, blue plastic slides, and the green uprights. Being able to instruct a visually-impaired individual to hold on to the purple rails both teaches them colors, and also gives them a sense of consistent safety.
One of the highest causes for playground accidents is poor visibility on elevation changes. The change from a level walking surface to steps may be a hazard for the visually impaired persons. Clearly marking the forward edge of each step is crucial to reduce tripping accidents. Each stair tread will be marked with a high contrasting color of yellow. ‘Safety yellow’ has been found to be the most visually detectable color. Our play structure will combine safety yellow striping on contrasting dark gray decking. Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams playground will be the FIRST playground in the US that is designed by Gametime with this visual striping on our Powerscape play structure! This custom piece will be made out of marine grade yellow paint. We may be the FIRST but I bet not the last! We are honored to have been sponsored from various local Lions Clubs on this cost.
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – Award Winning April 18th, 2021
The new Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground at Old School Park in Randolph, coming in Summer 2021, has received two awards as National Demonstration Sites. The National Demonstration Sites Network is led by PlayCore:
PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research, and Education (CORE) leads the National Demonstration Site Network as an important effort for raising national awareness and helping local communities share the positive impact they are making on community health and wellness. The initiative serves as an exclusive opportunity to participate in ongoing data collection, and receive a complete research findings report on your community’s vitality. National Demonstration Sites illustrate community vitality across a variety of influences, including social-emotional, environmental, health, community engagement, public services, and educational opportunities.
National Demonstration Sites (NDS) exemplify evidence-based best practices in design and implementation, support health-related initiatives, and provide meaningful ways for community stakeholders to gather data about the sites’ impact on the community. There are five NDS programs that help communities turn research into practice in local park destinations. Choose to utilize one or a combination of NDS designations to thoughtfully support playful pathways, nature play, adult fitness, youth physical activity, and inclusion in outdoor play and recreation settings.
Our new playground will be a National Demonstration Site for 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design. To learn more, check out: https://www.playcore.com/research/inclusion
Our playground will also be a National Demonstration Site for Play ON! Promoting Physical Activity. To learn more, check out: https://www.playcore.com/research/youth-fitness
Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground will be only the third playground in the entire state of Ohio to have two NDS Awards!