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Sensory Processing Awareness Month

CATEGORY / Uncategorized

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a framework first described by occupational therapist, A. Jean Ayres, PhD, in the 1970s. It refers to the body’s way of handling and processing sensory inputs from the environment (American Academy of Pediatrics).  SPD, sometimes called Sensory Integration Dysfunction affects 1 in every 20 children (Ahn, Miller, Milberger, McIntosh, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2004) and further research suggests that 1 in every 6 children experience sensory symptoms that may be significant enough to affect aspects of everyday life functions. (Ben-Sasson, Carter, Briggs-Gowan, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2009).

October is Sensory Processing Awareness Month so we wanted to give our readers some more information about the disorder and how you can design your play spaces to help a children who are affected by it.  Architects and designers can play a major role in creating inclusive playgrounds that contribute to the positive sensory development of all children. 

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Back to School – Time for Improvements!

CATEGORY / HAGS, Inclusive Play, Miracle Recreation, No Fault, Outdoor Fitness, Park Equipment, Playground Equipment, Playground Safety and Standards, Reducing Costs, School Playgrounds, Uncategorized

It’s a parent’s favorite time of the year, the kids are back at school!  Kids all over the country are back in the classroom learning new things, making new friends and settling into their new routine.  While everyone is worried about getting to school on time, homework, and after school activities, we don’t always think about the kids favorite time of the day, RECESS!  Playgrounds, sports fields and outdoor community areas where kids come together and socialize and play together are a very important part of school.  Recess is a time where they can get their wiggles out, sit and talk to their friends, play a friendly game together, and just take an important break from learning.  It’s important to not forget about these places and to make sure the equipment and amenities are up to par and to code so every kid has a safe place to utilize during the all important break from the school day.

Needs Assessment

When is the last time you took inventory of your playground’s equipment and other site amenities around the campus?  There is no time like the present to take a good inventory to determine which are most in need of upgrades or replacements.  It is no small task to take on but essential to ensuring children’s safety.  Fortunately, Miracle Playsystems offers school districts a free Needs Assessment that will essentially do this work for you! 

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All Good Things Happen Over the Summer

CATEGORY / Inclusive Play, Miracle Recreation, Nature Playground, Outdoor Fitness, Playground Equipment, School Playgrounds, Uncategorized

As summer winds down we wanted to take this opportunity to showcase what we’ve been up to!  Summer is always a busy month for installations and this summer was no exception.  We wanted to showcase a few of our favorite park openings as well as some school playgrounds that were built over the summer break.  We ended our summer fun with a very special team building experience with Habitat for Humanity and Blue Star Moms.  Scroll down to see more! 

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It’s Summertime! Time to Get Outside and Play!

CATEGORY / Uncategorized

Can you believe it’s Summer already?  Summertime has got to be a kid’s favorite time of the year!  School is out, fun vacations are planned, tons of time to hang out with friends, swimming all day and spending tons of time outdoors.  Sometimes, however, it can be a challenge to get your kids off the couch and out of the house.  You might need some inspiration on a new, fun, inexpensive activity to get them outside and having good old fashioned fun in the sun.  California is full of fun playgrounds!  It can be overwhelming trying to decide where to go.  Let us help you by highlighting some of our favorite places to play in various regions of Northern and Central California.  We selected these playgrounds for a variety of reasons – great design aesthetic, all abilities play, designs for all ages but most of all kids LOVE them and they are super FUN!

Sacramento Region

Foulks Park

9433 Trenholm Drive, Elk Grove 

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Inclusive Play for Deaf-Blind Awareness Week

CATEGORY / Uncategorized

Playgrounds are a place for children to have fun and enjoy just being a kid.  However, for children with special needs, this can be challenging.  Disorders such as deafness and blindness can greatly affect a child’s quality of life by limiting their ability to interact with other children, especially on a playground.  In honor of Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week (June 24-30), we would like to review some things to consider when designing a playground for children who are deaf and/or blind or who have multiple disabilities.  There are a number of considerations in designing a playground for children who are blind, deaf or visually impaired.

Auditory Disabilities

The degree of hearing loss varies greatly from person to person. Approximately 15% of children have some sort of low or high frequency hearing loss.  Children and adults with auditory disabilities need special considerations when designing a playground that is accessible, safe, and enjoyable. 

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Designers Top Choices to Help Create Extraordinary Places

CATEGORY / Uncategorized

When deciding on play equipment to add to your park design do you ever think “Outside the Playbox”?  It’s sometimes easy to forget creating a play space can mean so much more than just installing a play structure.  Miracle Playsystems offers many choices for creating an extraordinary environment, everything from surfacing, to exercise equipment, to music and shade shelters.  We are your one stop shop for creating a really unique space that everyone can enjoy!  We asked our talented in-house designers to think “Outside the Playbox” for a moment and show you ways to add elements to your space for everyone to enjoy.  They came up with this diagram below to help point out areas that are often overlooked when designing a playspace. 

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Playgrounds aren’t just for kids anymore!

CATEGORY / Uncategorized

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Older Americans month is celebrated every May.  This years theme is, Engage at Every Age.  This theme emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.

There is a growing trend in designing “Multi-generational”, ” Inter-generational” or “Senior” Playgrounds for our aging population.  These playgrounds originated in China in 1995 and started popping up in the 2000’s in other countries including Japan, England, Finland, Germany, Canada and Spain.  The idea is now catching on in the United States and you can already find a few of these playgrounds in major cities like New York, San Antonio and Miami.  Until recently, most senior playgrounds have been built within gated senior communities or associated with senior centers.  There is a movement to expand senior playgrounds into community parks.  With our “baby boomer” generation coming into their silver years, there is definitely more need and desire for these types of playgrounds all across the United States. As more seniors hear about and try senior playgrounds, hopefully more organizations and Parks departments will take notice and the playgrounds will become more widespread. Today’s seniors are looking to stay active and independent as long as possible. Senior playgrounds can be another way to make exercise more fun, more accessible and more effective for more seniors. 

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This is Landscape Architecture

CATEGORY / Uncategorized

It’s Springtime!  Everything is fresh and new, plants are blossoming and birds are chirping.  When we think of springtime we automatically think of getting outdoors.  The earth is a wondrous place during the springtime.  In order to preserve the wonders of the Earth we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd which is the “largest civic-focused day of action in the world”  We are reminded of things we can do to help make sure our planet is as healthy as it can be by preventing extra pollution or waste.  While many of us know April is Earth Month, did you know April is also World Landscape Architecture month? 

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Autism Awareness In Our Playgrounds

CATEGORY / Inclusive Play, Uncategorized

Autism awareness month aims to bring awareness to the challenges that people with Autism face every day as well as promoting acceptance and drawing attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.  It is a chance for everyone to see how we can help promote inclusion for all and make sure each person diagnosed with Autism has the opportunity to have the highest possible quality of life.

This month Miracle Playsystems would like to highlight ways to design for the needs of children with Autism and their families so they can have a truly inclusive place to play and feel accepted.  Many playgrounds have challenges that make autistic children feel left out, afraid, overwhelmed and worried.  We here at Miracle Playsystems would like to challenge everyone who has a hand in developing play-spaces to make sure “All Inclusive” is a standard, not an after thought.  Playground designers have the chance to help these families have a place to feel welcome, safe and included.  We would like to highlight resources for designers that highlight ways to design for the needs of these children. 

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March is Music in our Schools Month

CATEGORY / Uncategorized

March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the observance of Music in Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®).  During the entire month of March, music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.

In honor of Music in Our Schools month we are highlighting key outdoor music products for schools and sharing the stories behind some inspiring outdoor music classrooms. We offer a diverse group of outdoor musical instruments which make perfect additions to an abundance of settings. 

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P.O. Box 263
Alamo, CA 94507


phone: 800.879.7730
fax: 510.893.2163