Play is part of us and helps us grow, learn and develop. Keeping abreast of trends in play is how we keep bringing you the best and most innovative products that keep communities moving in more ways than one.
With obesity rates rising amongst children and an increased amount of time spent on electronics, there is a heightened focus on physical fitness for all people, especially children. Moving fitness outside is really something that’s a win for everyone. It increases equity and access, helps adults model healthy habits for children so they can be physically literate and brings everyone together outdoors. ELEVATE® Fitness Course brings fun and challenge outside and can be easily integrated into a play environment for children ages 5-12 and 13+. It’s a great way to encourage movement in a fun, intentionally-designed space and provide a place where people of different fitness levels can exercise together comfortably.
This is a trend we’ve been taking note of and are really excited about! Bringing people of all ages and abilities together in the same space to engage in exercise, musical exploration and play is a great way to foster healthy habits and community relationships as well as improve language, motor skills and creative problem-solving skills. Novo® Playful Furniture shifts the paradigm of playground seating from the perimeter into the playspace bringing people of all ages and abilities together. It offers comfortable seating, creative design and serves as a play event for climbing, balancing and imaginative play. Having a versatile piece allows users to create the experience they need and use these unique products differently every time.
Play plays such a critical role in child development that creating an environment that is both inclusive and equitable for all is not only a trend but a necessity. All our playgrounds are designed to meet ADA requirements but that really isn’t the full picture. We focus on universal design which means they aren’t only accessible but children and all people of all ages and abilities are able to get into the space and engage with it. This means there is play variety so no matter what the child’s interest, ability or attention level, there is something that meets them where they are and challenges them to grow. It also means there are different levels of play available in the same space. For example, swinging is a childhood staple and kids love to swing. Children of all abilities can swing – they may use different types of swings to accomplish this. A standard belt swing is a great option for children who want to jump on and pump their legs to fly high. A Konnection® Swing is a caregiver/child or child/child swing that can get younger or more inexperienced kids swinging and provides incredible engagement between people. The Freedom Swing is specially designed for children that use mobility devices with an angled seat back that provides extra support and comfort. These options mean everyone can swing together in the same space at a level that is comfortable and accessible for them.
Musical play and exploration are fun and beneficial for people of all ages and abilities. Music is a universal language and helps children connect with each other, learn and comprehend language and provides another creative outlet for outdoor play. Outdoor musical instruments are popular in parks and recreation areas, schools, churches and community outdoor spaces and as part of a playspace or standalone events. Having music in a play environment brings variety and play equity as well as helps to bring different ages together in play. PlayEnsemble® provides a variety of finely-tuned instruments children and adults can use to make music together. Available in a variety of colors and configurations, these instruments are designed to produce a beautiful sound no matter who is playing them and instill a love for music into people of all ages.
As play professionals, we’re all seeking to provide the best, most enriching experiences to our communities. Bringing some of the latest innovations in play will add even more fun and development to these important spaces. Contact your local Burke Representative for more information.