Play Moves Us in so many ways and we want to share our passion with you! From industry news and trends to Burke sales and products, PlayTalk brings important information right to you.
You may have heard that music can make you smarter, more focused and relaxed. We’ve seen research about the “Mozart Effect” with infants, heard about band and choir students scoring higher on tests, and even music as a tool to delay dementia in the elderly- but how does this all work? Let’s explore the effects of music on the brain and see how music can move us cognitively and improve everything from language to literacy!
When you were just a baby, your main form of communication was to cry - when you were hungry, needed a diaper change, a nap. Our parents and caregivers probably rocked us, held us and maybe even sang to us. Singing not only alters a baby’s mood, but it promotes paternal-infant bonding, helps with baby’s sense of awareness and attention and increases neuroplasticity in their brains. Like we discussed in our last blog post, a child’s brain develops new pathways with each musical experience. This also helps children as they learn to speak and read. Making music also develops and strengthens the inner ear, which ...
The NRPA Annual Conference is upon us and this time we’re headed to Baltimore to engage with more than 8,000 people who are passionate about parks and recreation just like we are! Our favorite part of NRPA is all the people – it’s an opportunity for us to connect with people who understand and share our desire for more – more parks and play environments, more time spent outdoors, more spaces for people to get moving and areas that inspire, develop and help everyone find the best of themselves through play.
We’re happy to be part of the Parks Build Community again this year and can’t wait to leave Baltimore a little more playful than before. In addition to this, we have a whole host of events happening at Burke booth 4416 and at our social! From giveaways to product innovations and games to coffee and tea, there’s a variety of reasons to stop and visit us.
Here is our entire schedule and consider this your formal invitation to Join Our Movement and see how play can move you!
Time spent outside is priceless and there is no better place to get outdoors than a park! To celebrate July as Park and Recreation month, we are listing the top five reasons outdoor play is the best! So get to your local park and reap the benefits!
5. Being outside is a sensory experience like no other! The sun on your skin, the wind in your face, the texture of rocks and leaves are just a few of the sensory experiences you will have outdoors. If you’re at a local playground, you might feel the texture of the rope, the breeze as you swing or hear the laughter of children as they slide. However you experience your local park or playground, know the sensory experience is exactly what you need!
4. Increased attention span. Spending time outdoors regularly fosters curious, self-directed children. And they are likely to stay on task longer and follow through on work. Numerous studies have shown children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who spent significant time outdoors exhibited fewer symptoms.
3. Improved development in ALL ...
German poet Hermann Hesse said that “making music together is the best way for two people to become friends.” Burke’s all new PlayEnsemble™ line is designed to do just that - to bring families and communities together to play and make music with high quality outdoor musical instruments. Burke wowed us again with amazing new, high quality music products, including drums, chimes and a metallophone, all of which can withstand the elements and provide an authentic environment for collaboration and play for all ages and abilities.
MUSIC FOR THE MIND AND BODY
Music and movement are powerful ways to promote wellness, healthy brain development and social connections. Did you know that making music accelerates brain development and promotes neuroplasticity in children? As you make music, the brain develops new pathways with each experience. This also helps children as they learn to speak and read. Making music develops and strengthens the inner ear, which is where we process and understand literacy skills.
Think back to when you first learned to speak. Did your parents teach you ...
Play is essential to childhood – to development, to exploration and to learning. The Phoenix Elementary School District understands the importance of play and is revitalizing many of the playgrounds to add more opportunities for children to get the most out of play! Using the Mohave Educational Services Cooperative, they were able to streamline the purchasing process and get to the fun of playground design!
Having areas where children can move, socialize and release energy helps them learn better during classroom time. A study by IPEMA’s Voice of Play initiative found that 100 percent of teachers said recess is essential for young students’ mental and physical development. The educators surveyed went on to say that kids’ behaviors changed positively after recess. This is a huge plus for play and means that the students in the Phoenix Elementary School District are going to be exposed to a social network where they learn valuable everyday life lessons about interacting with others, develop cognitive skills, release physical energy and get much-needed outdoor time and exercise.
The new play environments will be a welcome ...
The news is full of dire statistics about the health of the US. Not enough movement, poor diet and too much screen time. This is especially alarming for children ages 12-18. This age is difficult to get and keep moving – they’ve “aged out” of traditional playgrounds and yet are often too young to be interested in adult fitness classes. But they NEED movement as much or more for both physical and mental health! Enter Gaga Ball - a popular game amongst teenagers that is fast paced, high energy and keeps kids moving and engaged.
So how does it work? It’s a basic game reminiscent of dodgeball that is played in an enclosed, octagonal pit with an infinite number of players. One of the best parts of Gaga though is how accessible it is to everyone. To play, you don’t need to possess extraordinary athletic abilities– it’s the great playground equalizer and helps bring everyone together. The game is played with a ball, and combines the skills of dodging, striking, running, and jumping, while trying to hit opponents with a ...
Winter can be a cold and bitter time for a gym goer. The desire to workout is there, but it feels like mother nature just won’t have it. Sometimes, like bears, we wish we could just go into hibernation until that beautiful spring weather returns to rejuvenate us to get back into the swing of things. The only thing about hibernating like bears is that we might in turn end up looking like one! Not to say bears are not beautiful creatures, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard anyone wanting to look like a bear?! No excuses! We will not let the cold defeat us!! Here are a few ways we’ve conjured up to put on our long johns and get to work and get us ready to ELEVATE come warmer weather.
Getting your mind right:
Let’s start with your mindset. It’s safe to say that the first step you must take in making any changes begin at the top with your brain. YOU must decide just how important working out and your health is to you. Remind yourself ...
What's more fun than swinging? Swinging with a friend on the AirVenture™ Glider! Swinging is a (mostly) universal experience and we couldn't imagine how it could be better. Then...we came to AirVenture. AirVenture is a specially-designed glider that encourages cooperative play and socialization while developing balance, core strength and coordination.
Swinging is a social activity that helps children learn to work together toward a common goal and develop a relationship between those children that transcends the playspace. The AirVenture can be combined with the Volito® Multi-User Swing in a Multi-Bay design, so children of all abilities can swing together in the same space. Why is this important? When children of all abilities play together in the same space it builds empathy and understanding and reduces stigmas that are sometimes present in classrooms.
So, to wrap up, swinging is healthy activity that brings all children together AND, AND, it's so much fun that kids won't even know that they are developing so many skills! Is there a reason that anyone wouldn't want this on your playground?
Sometimes we launch something so amazing it changes the way play environments look and feel! Level X™ is one of those launches and we are stoked to bring it to communities! Check out the video on the inspiration behind this play system and how it brings Play That Moves You® to the play environment!
The Making of Level X from BCI Burke Company on Vimeo.
LEVELING UP your playground means bringing the best in play and playground equipment to your community! Whether you're part of a school, park, HOA, church or daycare, you can save up to 35% on 22 of our most popular structures and get a FREE Burke Novo Playful Furniture bicycle rack and arc bench, litter container or age sign with your purchase. That means you can LEVEL UP your playground for a less and add a special touch to make it your own. Check out all of the sale structures and see how play can move you!
No doubt about it, folks. We are in love with sugar. It’s like the bad boy (or girl) you had a major crush on in high school and couldn’t get enough of, even though everything about him was a horrible idea. You wanted him anyway.
We will do anything for sugar. The food industry knows this. They keep adding more and more of it to our diet. “Give the people what they want!”, am I right? The problem is, added sugar is horrible for our health, both short and long term. Yep, kind of like that boyfriend.
“Added” sugars, by definition, are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed. “Naturally occurring” sugars are those already found in fruit (fructose) or milk (lactose). It’s the added sugars that are the problem. They can include, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, and sucrose. It is recommended that women consume no more than 24g (6 teaspoons) per day and men 36g (9 ...
Have you ever wondered why we lean a certain way or tend to have problems on a certain side of our body? Many of these abnormalities are because we lack certain symmetry on the inside of our bodies. Most of us took anatomy, but how many of us realized the different sizes and different places our main organs are located? This is not a problem, but postural issues and muscles imbalances can happen if we don’t resolve this asymmetry. This blog will give you a PEAK into understanding your body better (inside and out) and some solutions to keeping it running like a well-oiled machine (clank-clank).
Great news! No, there is no magic bean or wonder drink that can fix all our problems, but with focused strength training and a better understanding of your body and its functions you and your body can be on the same page.
Let’s talk about our strength training program first. We tend to concentrate on strengthening our “mirror muscles”. Some examples are chest, quads, abs, shoulders, biceps and triceps. You’re probably aware of where these ...
Universal Design helps produce buildings, environments and products that are inherently accessible to everyone. Within a play environment, this takes on added importance as we consider the wide variety of ages and abilities that use park and play areas. While there are so many factors to consider when designing a play environment, our Top 5 are listed below.
1. Minimum Requirements
Universal Design creates the greatest access, but minimum requirements need to be met too! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the guideline for playgrounds and needs to be followed at a minimum.
2. Focus on ALL users
Children aren’t the only users of park and playground areas – most of them need caregivers to bring them to the park and, studies show, the more comfortable and accessible a space is for caregivers, the more time kids will spend at the park. Products like Novo™ Playful Furniture provide caregivers a comfortable, accessible space to rest and socialize while providing children a fun place to climb, balance or observe until they are ready to play. Caregivers can be inside the playspace with the children ...
What does it really mean to connect? We’re all so “connected” with mobile devices, television and chats of all kinds that maybe the word has been diluted a bit? Burke is redefining what it means to connect on the playground with the Konnection™ Swing, part of the Burke product line dedicated to enhancing play experiences and creating memorable connections for all users. With welcoming, flowing design lines, it brings a comforting form and experience to the playground.
The Growing Need for Connection
Today’s high paced world needs a space to promote true face-to-face connection, development and offer everyone an opportunity to engage. In the age of media overuse, the Konnection Swing is a timely introduction dedicated to reimagining our connections. Study after study, including a recently published study from Deloitte, conducted by Ipsos MORI, found that to be the case. According to the survey, which polled 2,000 US internet users ages 18 to 75, most people check their device approximately 47 times per day with younger users even higher at roughly 86 times a day.
A Continued Focus on User Experience
Creating a positive user ...
Why do you eat? If your answer is, “Because I’m hungry.” Or, “Because my stomach growls.” Or, if you are eating on the fly, grabbing whatever is close and “easy”, you may need to refocus your efforts. Just like you put specific gasoline in the tank of your car in a specific amount you should put specific foods in your body in specific amounts if you want your “engine” to run well and help you reach your health and fitness goals.
If you typically work out on an empty stomach, STOP! Doing this is like heading for vacation without filling your car. You’re not going to get anywhere, so you might as well stay in bed! When you exercise without fuel you will likely experience greater fatigue during the workout resulting in shorter and/or less intense activity. In turn, fewer total calories and less total fat are burned during the workout. Additionally, low blood sugar can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches and may contribute to poor recovery. When you feel good, both mentally and physically, you get the most out of ...
Play is an important part of community and provides a space to gather, grow, learn and share. Organizations are working to help communities bring play to their residents and we can all help spread the word about these opportunities!
NRPA and Disney teamed up to provide grants to fund innovative and creative projects that transform parks and improve access to inclusive play spaces for kids (aged 3-11) and their families. Each grant is $30,000 and 25 total grants will be awarded. Please note, a 1:1 match is required. Eligible matching funds can include cash, staff time, construction costs and design fees.
Be a resource for our collective customers by helping them find opportunities like this! Please see the guidelines below and visit the website for additional information.
The applicant must be a state or local government park and recreation agency, (e.g., municipal park and recreation department, tribal recreation department, park district, etc.)
The project must take place at a publicly-owned site(s) in an underserved community*.
Considerable progress towards the project outcomes must be demonstrated ...
Guest Bloggers: Jenn Pontello and DJ Thompson, Trainers, Peak Performance Fitness & Nutrition
PLAY THAT MOVES YOU! That would be their motto, BCI Burke would be their name. If you haven’t heard of them…you will! Last April we got our chance when the Town of Apex, through the recommendation of Barrs Recreation, brought the first obstacle course (ELEVATE) of its kind in the Nation to Apex Community Park.
They could’ve kept it simple: “build it and let them play”, but not Burke. That's where Peak Performance Fitness & Nutrition (Peak) came in. They asked us, to run a group of kids ranging from 13-18 through the ELEVATE course to collect data. It meant more to Burke then just seeing kids have fun, they also wanted to measure their capability to improve their performance while having fun.
We designed an 8-week program consisting of a 3-level curriculum. Using our background in functional training, we monitored the kid’s growth. Functional training, simply put, is training the body for everyday movements within the home, work, general activity and sports. We challenged the ...
From devastation comes rebuilding. From sadness comes laughter. From a monumental flood comes a renewed greenspace.
We had the privilege of touring the site that became Lemann Playground on Lafitte Greenway during the planning phase. All around this greenspace, the community was rebuilding. Play and parks are a powerful way to connect neighbors and families and give communities a sense of pride. Parks like Lemann Playground become a hub of activity, providing an environment ripe for businesses to open and service this growing population. Here people will gather, spend time outside, develop physically, emotionally, socially. They will laugh, share and play. BCI Burke is proud to partner with the NRPA, Parks Building Community and NORD to bring Play That Moves You to New Orleans and provide a space this community will benefit from for years to come.
WATCH NRPA'S VIDEO OF THE 2017 PROJECT, LAFITTE GREENWAY IN NEW ORLEANS!
All children deserve access to a space where they can learn new skills and further develop pre-existing ones. Few designers, however, consider children of all abilities while they are designing a playground. This leads to some children being alienated from others and their chance to learn essential skills while playing. Since no one wants to see a child left out, this article aims to educate designers and parents alike on not only the importance of inclusive spaces but also the simple considerations that need to be made to make one possible.
The first aspect of designing an inclusive space is understanding that there is a difference in the words inclusive and accessible. Even though the two terms are often used synonymously, accessible refers to the ability to easily approach, reach, enter, speak with or use. In terms of an accessible playground, this would be one that includes ramps for children to enter and certain objects (not all) within reach of the individuals. In essence, it is including more children, but it is not yet inclusive.
An inclusive space covers everything ...
More growth. More fun. More laughter. More time. More socialization. More development. More play. Play is one thing you can’t have too much of and Burke wants to help communities get more play in their budget! We are offering up to 35% off of select playground structures and an additional free item designed to pair with the chosen structure. Check out our sale here and see how play can move you!
What does it mean to us at Burke? It means working at Burke is more than just a job…it means we are passionate about creating the best playground products in the industry! It also means provide an environment that nurtures creative people, innovative thinking and forward-looking and that our pay and benefits packages are competitive.
Burke is a company on the move and we are hiring for a variety of professional and manufacturing positions. We are willing to train people that display traits we think will be a great match for all of us. Visit us at bciburke.com for more information and to apply.
Landscape Architect/Playground Designer, Mechanical Design Engineer, Software Analyst/Programmer and Territory Sales Manager – Northern CA
Welder, General Factory – Powder Coating, and Machine Operator – Metal Fabrication
Civil Engineering Intern and Mechanical Engineering Intern
We are so excited to announce Gustavo Vergara, Culture and Leisure Services Director, from the City of Cape Canaveral as the winner of the Great Play Giveaway presented by Parks & Recreation Business and Camp Business Magazine! As the winner, the City will receive a brand-new Nucleus®/Intensity® playground valued at almost $30,000!
As part of the third annual contest, all recreation departments and camps could enter to win a playground for their community that will help children develop skills that transcend the playground, including motor skills, cognitive planning and cooperation. Cape Canaveral will install this brand new playground customized with bright colors to fit the surroundings and enhance their city branding.
“Playgrounds and parks play an important role in providing a space for families to be active, to socialize and get much-needed time outdoors,” said Michael Phelan, president and CEO of BCI Burke. “We are so happy to be able to partner with Northstar Publishing, Inc. and provide a deserving community with a playground that will provide years of active enjoyment and development,” Phelan added.
Cape Canaveral is planning to install the ...
BCI Burke Company has been awarded a national cooperative contract by Region 4 Education Service Center, Houston, TX, made available through National IPA, to provide playground and recreation products to government agencies and educational institutions throughout the country.
After competitively soliciting the contract, Region 4 ESC awarded the contract to BCI Burke on April 28, 2017. Through the agreement, BCI Burke’s products will be made available to all participants of National IPA.
“National IPA is pleased to be partnering with BCI Burke to offer this competitively solicited and awarded agreement lead by Region 4 ESC. BCI Burke provides a breadth of playground and recreation options, built with the exceptional quality that will benefit National IPA’s participating agencies throughout the country,” said Ken Heckman, senior vice president, account management.
National IPA is one of the fastest-growing cooperative purchasing organizations in the nation, and each contract is written to ensure maximum value and public procurement compliance for all parties involved. Additionally, a significant portion of National IPA’s revenue is allocated to education initiatives.
“Our contract with National IPA simplifies the process for customers to purchase ...
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month – a perfect time to set goals and get more active! The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition challenges adults to 30 minutes of physical activity each day during May.
Adding 30 minutes to an already busy schedule might seem daunting, but there are ways to incorporate activity into your day that won’t require complete rearrangement.
Walking. Mayo Clinic says taking a regular brisk walk can help maintain weight and prevent things like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Walk while your child is at baseball practice and, if you are feeling extra energetic, add in some squats and walking lunges for a dose of strength training.
PLAY. Playing is not only fun and social for kids and families but it is a great way to exercise! Head to the playground (walk or bike if you can!) and play with your child(ren) on the monkey bars, swings and climbers - you will have time with your kids and get exercise together!
Active workplaces. We’ve all heard that sitting at a desk all day is ...
Bring play to your community with Burke’s Spring Sale! We are so excited to make bringing play to your community even more affordable! We have more than 27 Burke playground structures that are up to 40% off list price! That means you can get more play value, development and community at a significant savings during this sale! Check out all of our sale structures and see how play can move you!
We love play and the chance to give a community a beautiful new playground is exciting for the team at Burke! Valued at almost $28,000, the Great Play Giveaway playground offers opportunities for kids to climb, slide, socialize and learn. The contest is open to Parks & Recreation Departments and Camps in the 48 contiguous United States and the winner will receive the latest in Burke products for their community! The deadline to enter is May 6, 2017! Click here for more information or to enter!
An interesting article about pressure on kids to perform well in school, excel in competitive sports, and handle other pressures could be alleviated with some simple one-on-one time with nature. See how outdoor play can help everyone live better.
ASLA 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo is almost here! This year’s event is in New Orleans, LA and we can’t wait to bring Play That Moves you to the largest gathering of landscape architecture professionals and students in the world!
Within the 2016 ASLA Expo at Booth 1551, Burke will introduce the geometric celebration of play aptly named Novo™ Playful Furniture featuring a whole new way to interact with site amenities within a play environment. Burke created a category of multi-purpose site amenities that can be used in new ways from rest to play to interaction. Novo Playful Furniture combines form and function to create fun and creative site amenities that can also be used as play events. Users can balance on the Novo Bench or relax on the Novo Picnic Table and promote interaction.
Also featured is the latest in the Ara Shade Collection, a set of beautiful and functional shades for play environments that provide necessary UV protection while giving height and dimension to playspaces. Add any of the six Ara Shades and meet the aesthetic and practical needs ...
Bringing Play That Moves You to communities around the world is at the heart of Burke’s mission. Participating in Parks Build Community, a national initiative aimed at demonstrating the transformative value of parks on the health and vitality of communities across America, with NRPA and other national donors is an exemplification of our mission. The latest project, Trojan Park in Wellston, MO, is a new park with a variety of family-friendly amenities, including a state-of-the-art playground, basketball court, splash pad and picnic areas complete with shade structures.
To see how communities and organizations can come together and make a positive difference in the world, watch this video. This is Play That Moves Us.
We are so excited to make bringing play to your community even more affordable! We have more than 25 Burke playground structures that are up to 40% off list price! That means you can get more play value, development and community at a significant savings during this sale! Check out all of our sale structures and see how play can move you!
Bringing play to communities is what moves us at Burke to come to work every day and drives our passion to develop the best products and design the most inspired playgrounds! Last year, we decided to partner with Parks & Recreation Business and Camp Business Magazine to giveaway a playground to a community! So much FUN! The Town of Shallotte, NC won a playground that fit perfectly into their plan to add to the playground already planned for Mulberry Park!
For 2016, we decided to give away a bigger playground and update the name to the GreatER Play Giveaway! We are excited to announce the City of Powell as the WINNER of a brand-new Nucleus®/Intensity® playground valued at more than $28,000!
“This is an exciting time for us in Powell,” said Bowers, Assistant Director of Parks. “Our community is vibrant and we pride ourselves on providing outdoor spaces for the whole family. Winning this playground from Burke allows us to complete an outdoor playspace much sooner than we otherwise would have, giving our residents one more place to stay active and ...
Discover your super powers and change lives! That’s the theme of this year’s Park and Recreation Month and it provides a reason (like we need one!) to get outside and promote health, fitness and enjoy the outdoors with friends, kids, neighbors, colleagues or even by yourself! Need inspiration? Here are five things to do at a park near you! All parks are different so find one that has the amenities you need and check it out!
1. Play. If you have a child or children at the park with you, it’s fun to play on the swings, climb up the rock wall and slide down the slide! And it helps build strength, agility and balance!
2. Trails. Many parks have trails that loop around the area of the park and even connect to other parks or take you along a lake or river or even into the woods! Look for fitness equipment located along trails that will help take your workout to the next level by adding some strength or agility training.
3. Picnic. Grab a basket and blanket for a meal on the park ...
The second annual Great Play Giveaway is back…and it’s GreatER than EVER! Bring play to your community by entering to win a Burke playground valued at $28,000!
Every park or camp that completes the short survey will be automatically entered for a chance to win! Want a better chance? Get an additional 5 contest entries for submitting a video that explains what the playground would mean to your camp and/or community. All you have to do is upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or some other video hosting service and provide a link to it in your contest entry. Click here to register.
The days are getting longer and the chill is coming out of the air…that can only mean one thing…SPRING is around the corner!!!! Bring play to your community and get kids and families moving with up to 40% an incredible, active, imaginative playground!
At Burke, we have the best people bringing play to communities across the United States and abroad! The Representative Awards recognize excellence in sales, customer support and service as well as an overall exemplification of Burke’s mission to create play that moves everyone. We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Representative Awards. This year’s winners are Snider Recreation as the Representative of the Year and Play It Safe Playgrounds as the Burke Choice Award.Michael Phelan, president and CEO of BCI Burke Company, presented the awards to both Snider Recreation and Play It Safe Playgrounds at the National Sales Conference in Galveston, TX.
“After working together with us for more than 15 years, the team at Snider Recreation continues to be an incredible partner and share our mission and values,” Phelan said. “We are honored to present them with the Representative of the Year award and look forward to our future together in 2016 and beyond.” Snider Recreation represents Burke in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and western Pennsylvania.
The Burke Choice Award is given to the Representative ...
It’s cooling off here in the Midwest and all over the country! Although “cold” is a subjective term, we can all agree that winter in the U.S. brings cooler temps to most places throughout the country! However, just because it is colder or cloudier, doesn’t mean outdoor play is any less important! It requires more planning and a few different clothing options, but it can be done safely and the rewards are endless! Here are just a few of the benefits:
Fresh air is just that – fresh! Most indoor environments are closed and that means germs, bacteria and dirt recycle through the vents and the more time spent inside, the more time you are exposed! Being outside and breathing fresh air helps to strengthen your autoimmune system and helps to build a resistance to allergies.
Increased Attention Span
Time spent playing outdoors is a natural attention builder. Often children who have difficulty with sitting still for long periods of times are significantly more successful after time spent outside.
Engage in Physical Exercise
Yes, it might be colder outside but children still have ...