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Jay Beckwith

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Playground Guru

Confessions of a Playground Guru

Called by many as one of the “fathers of the modern playground,” Jay began designing unique play environments in 1970. As new materials came into use early in the 1980s, he designed one of the earliest “post and deck” play structures, which quickly became a trend that he later decried as resulting in more and more playgrounds looking alike. Jay has written several books on designing and building children’s play equipment. He has also been involved with safety commissions, became a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, and has written publications and developed programs for playground safety. He has consulted with several playground manufacturers in their design processes and pushed towards new directions in play environments, such as climbing boulders and ropes. Jay has been a Fellow of the Association for the Study of Play for over twenty years, and his insightful observations of children at play have influenced his views of the needed changes for the future.

6 years 2 months ago
Let’s be frank. Today’s kids face two situations that are unprecedented in human history. First,...
6 years 3 months ago
Whether you agree with the science behind the predictions for global warming or not, most...
6 years 3 months ago
Throughout my nearly 5 decades advocating for kid’s play I have tried to convey the message that...
6 years 4 months ago
1 comment
Before reading further, take a few moments to answer this question: What Are Your Most Memorable...
6 years 5 months ago
1 comment
Wouldn't you like to see playgrounds that let children expand their imaginations?
6 years 6 months ago
Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but playgrounds are losing their customers. Over the past couple of...
6 years 7 months ago
I can feel it in my bones. There are BIG changes afoot in the world of play. Playgrounds will have...