Swinging on a swing helps children calm down

It’s rare to find a child who doesn’t like to swing. Most people may think it’s just because it’s fun. But there are also some neurological benefits to swinging on a backyard swing set that most people are unaware of.
Swinging on a swing set helps children sleep.
Studies have shown that children who swing regularly sleep well because the spinning motion helps balance neurological activity in the brain.
You know those wound up thoughts you have when you’re lying in bed with insomnia, staring at the clock? Well, kids have that stuff too. But they don’t have the logical perceptions to help them lie still. When wiring has gone haywire, neurological focus affects your sleeping patterns. The back and forth motion and spinning motions helps settle immature brains into a restful peace.
Swinging helps children with sensory issues.
Sensory issues have a wide range, but for the most part, it’s very common for young eyes swinging on swingstoddlers and preschool aged children to have some sort of sensory issue. It’s part of the developmental patterns.
Some kids don’t like socks on their feet. Some children can’t handle tags touching their skin. Some kids have hot/cold sensitivities. Loud noises can be a hardship for many children. As we age, we tend to grow out of many of these issues.
Swinging helps put the balance back in the system for children. It doesn’t make these issues go away, but it helps calm them down so that they can focus less on their irritants.
Swinging benefits children on the Autism/Asperger’s spectrum.
It’s a well-known therapy for children on the Autism spectrum to have a daily swing. Many parents with children on the spectrum even have indoor and outdoor swings so they can swing late at night and during inclement weather.
Children who have Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome can also benefit from the soothing motion of a swing set. With these children, atypical swinging patterns often have added benefits. Try twirling; side-to-side motion; and lying on the stomach. See how they react and if they seem to like it, continue on with these soothing methods to help them slow down.
Overall, the benefits of swinging are more than just having a good time. Swinging helps the brain balance. It helps settle. Swinging on a swing set is like meditation or yoga for children. It helps them calm. It helps them soothe. And it aids in balancing the brain’s wiring.

We have a variety of playsets to complement your yard, family and budget!
Come swing with us at one of our 2 Pittsburgh showrooms or call to speak to one of our customer service representatives at 1-800-381-4902.
(www.kidscreations.com)

Why Choose Redwood or Cedar for Your Outdoor Playset

Buying an outdoor playset is an exciting time for your family! The investment is worth some research.  Playground World with its 25 plus years or experience partners with Woodplay, the country’s original Redwood playset company since 1975 to bring you’re the very best in family play. We feel that a full timbered natural wood play system is best suited for safe family fun for now and years to come.
Aesthetics
The biggest advantage of the wooden play system is the rich, natural look. Many of our wooden playsets have club houses that with, windows, shutters, and wooden roofs look like cute little houses. Wood offers a natural beauty that will integrate into your home surroundings without creating a distraction.Full-Timbered Redwood and Cedar vs Vinyl
Wood swing sets are generally made from redwood or cedar, two types of wood that are excellent at resisting rot, decay, and insects. Why not use vinyl sleeve? The interior of the vinyl swing set also contain wood, however it is a general a lower quality and was as smaller dimension lumber. The vinyl units will also hold in moisture, creating a situation where the timber inside the vinyl sleeve basically rots from the inside out. This can make the system wobbly and unsecure.Wood play systems will generally be much cooler to the touch than plastic or vinyl coated play sets Vinyl will typically fade over time as well. Wood play systems do require general maintenance such as bi-annual stain/seal. Doing so will provide your family with many years fun!

Wood Swing Sets. Wood playsets are our most popular option. They are strong and durable, they look amazing in just about any backyard, and they have a ton of features and options. Our wooden playsets are made of sustainable, commercially grown redwood or cedar. This means that they are resistant to rot and decay and will last many years if maintained properly.

There are a lot of things to consider when making this investment for your kids and your yard. We can help you with other factors like deck height and style options.  Come play with us at one of our 2 Pittsburgh showrooms or give us a call at 1-800-381-4902.

How To Choose the Perfect Playset for Your Family

So you’ve decided to take first step in investing in a playset for your family. With so many customizable options it can be a bit overwhelming, but our professional sales staff is here to help guide you to your family’s perfect play system.
It’s actually as simple as 2-3-2!
• 2 Styles
The Playhouse style: more of an upright, post & beam construction, a convertible picnic table underneath with room for a sandbox, more of a gathering center or “clubhouse” feel.
The Outback style: A-frame look, with a swivel tire swing “down under”; more of an activity center.
• 3 Deck Heights
The Standard deck heights are 5, 6 or 7 feet. The deck is the top level of the set. Your deck height will determine how big/long your slide will be. Also, the swing beam is always 3 feet higher than your deck. The higher the beam, the longer the swing arc, the bigger the fun. From a safety perspective the climbing angles never changes, meaning the ladder and rock walls don’t get steeper as the deck height goes up. You can always add accessories as your family grows, you just can’t make the deck taller latter, so it is an important decision.
• 2 Types of Wood
Redwood is the premium building material in the industry. Feels the best, holds its shape the best, and will require the least amount of maintenance. Lifetime warranty on redwood.
Just below is redwood is cedar. Cedar and redwood will perform the best is the hot-dry-wet-cold thru the season. The cedar will require bi-annual re-sealing; it is approximately 15% less than redwood for a similar play system. 15 year warranty on cedar.
So 2 Styles – 3 Heights – 2 Woods. Once you make those decision, then it time to personalize your set with all of our fun options; slides, swings, and colors!!
More good news is, you don’t have to do it all now. Playground World has been here for 25 years, so we will be there for you when you are ready to “add the monkey bars, new swing or whatever addition you want as your family grows”
We have playsets available for every size yard! We’ll put together a footprint to help you visualize where your set will go. In Western Pa we know not all yards are flat. Our sets are designed with adjustable A Frames to accommodate a mild slope. If you have any questions about your yard slope, we will come to your house for a free yard assessment.

Trampoline Exercise Benefits

Did you know a study by the American Council on Exercise found that bouncing on a trampoline for less than 20 minutes is just as good for you as running. The best part? It feels better and is a lot more fun!
Trampolines, formerly reserved for neighborhood cool kids’ backyards, have recently gained popularity as fitness equipment
If you’re thinking of purchasing a treadmill for your home take a look at the benefits of a trampoline instead. Not only is it more fun, it burns more calories!
Force of Impact
Lots of people use running as a way to get fit. “One downside of running is that it can lead to orthopedic injuries,” says John Porcari, Professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Running is a high-impact exercise that causes stress on your joints due to the force of impact.
Jumping on a trampoline is a low-impact cardio exercise that absorbs 80% of the shock. It takes the pressure off your knees and removes the strain and stress of a hard surface workout. And Porcari says that makes it seem easier than it is.
Calorie Burning
You may be surprised to find out that trampoline jumping burns more calories than running. Victor L. Katch at the University of Michigan found that a 150 pound person burns 71 calories jogging and 82 calories on the trampoline.
Time Saver
While burning 10 calories more on a trampoline might not seem like much, consider that you need to spend less time on a trampoline than running to achieve that. A NASA study found that 10 minutes of jumping on a trampoline is the equivalent of a 30 minute run. The fact is exercising on a trampoline take less time than running. If you’re a busy parent who struggles to find time to exercise you can go for a quick jump right in your backyard!
Exercise Like An Astronaut
A NASA study found that trampoline jumping is 68% more efficient than running or jogging. In fact, it proved to be the best exercise to rebuild the lost bone tissue of astronauts whose weightless state caused them to lose 15% of their bone mass.
Fun for the Whole Family
Let’s face it, jumping on a trampoline is fun. And even better, it’s an investment for the whole family. From kids to adults everyone can enjoy the fun of getting outside and active on a trampoline.
Learn about Springfree tgoma, the first interactive game system for trampolines.
https://www.springfreetrampoline.com/tgoma

The Importance of Unstructured Play

There are many benefits for kids who participate in organized activities and sports, such as the discipline and social skills they learn. But have you considered the benefits of unstructured play in your child’s development? Unstructured play is essential in cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children.
Here are 4 ways to incorporate unstructured play into your child’s schedule and the benefits of each:
Know the right amount of extra-curricular activities for your child:– if all the extra-curricular activities your child is involved in is making you both stressed or unhappy, then it may be time to reassess. Being involved in different activities is a great way to identify what your child excels at and enjoys. You may be able to determine this by participating in short term commitment classes or activities before signing up for the year.
Create a balance– allowing your child personal play time does not take away from time spent participating in organized sports and activities. Kids are still reaping the physical and psychological benefits when engaging in unstructured play. Creating a balance between structured activities and free play will allow your child to explore his or her interests without feeling pressured to excel in each sport or activity.
Get fit with unstructured play– not all kids enjoy organized sports and activities, which is why it’s important to incorporate unstructured play into your daily activities. Unstructured activities are a fun way to get fit as a family, whether it’s playground fun, dancing or playing games outside. It encourages your whole family to get active and helps your child develop social and cognitive skills.
Let your kids be bored-Letting your kids get bored forces them to use their imagination and discover new activities and experiences on their own. A skill that will help them learn to be self-starters and problem solvers.
Involving your kids in organized activities and sports can create structure and routine, leaving some time for free or unstructured play can be just important in creating a well-balanced lifestyle. Children today spend drastically less time outdoors playing than a lot of us did when we were young. Technology and video games, seem to have taken over our lives. In order to keep our kids active and healthy, remember to build in time for unstructured play. It will go a long way towards building key social, emotional and cognitive skills.
Check out our trampoline specials this month! It may be a perfect time to play!

How to Create a Healthy Tech-Life Balance for Kids

Let’s face it – technology is shaping our kids childhood in a different way than when we were young.
Did you know…..studies show that kids are spending 60 hours per week consuming media and less than 60 minutes playing outside? With 40% of families with children age 8 and under owning tablet devices children have more access to TV, games, and media than ever before.
Technology can have tremendous benefits for kids like improved cognitive function and motor skills. Unfortunately, most technology use is a sedentary, indoor experience. And many parents struggle with how to balance technology use with other activities.
Check out these tips to help create a healthy tech-life balance for kids:
Set Guidelines for Media Use
A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that two-thirds of children and teenagers report that their parents have “no rule” about time spent with media. Be clear with your kids on how much screen time they get a day. It is easier to control their exposure to media when you (and the kids) know the limits.
Common Sense Media suggests creating a schedule. This can include weekly screen time limits, limits of the types of screen they can use, and guidelines on the activities they can do or programs they can watch. This will help you monitor the time they are spending and how productive their screen time is.
Know the Quality of Media
Not all screen time is equal. Watching TV is not the same thing as video-chatting with Grandma, learning math skills, or active gaming on the trampoline. Active technology and screen time can help kids develop key skills like hand-eye coordination, language and social skills, memory, and critical thinking when used in moderation. Springfree Trampoline featuring tgoma, the first digital gaming system designed for a trampoline, combines gaming with activity. And shows like Sesame Street can teach children number and letters and media can also help kids learn about empathy, racial and ethnic tolerance, and a variety of interpersonal skills.
Make sure to balance out the time spent on social media and TV with active technology and educational programming.
Make Screen Time Active Time
Any busy parent knows how tempting it can be to put on the TV or hand over the iPad for a few moments of quiet to clean the house, make dinner, or unwind after a busy day. Instead, of using technology in a sedentary way – on the couch – turn screen time into outdoor active time.
Using the body as the controller, Springfree featuring tgoma allows kids to actively jump around while they try to stomp aliens and squish fruit. It takes their screen time outside and makes it active giving kids all the benefits of physical activity.
Turn Screen Time into Family Time
There are plenty of ways to make screen time something you do together as a family. Having a family movie night can be a great way to spend time together. The American Academy of Pediatrics even suggests playing video games with your kids to help teach them good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette. For example, using tgoma on your Springfree you can create family challenges like who can do the most jumps in 15 minutes or get the highest score on Alien Stomp. It gives kids their screen time, makes it active, and even gives you a workout too!
Be a Role Model
As digital adults we are frequently on devices at home. It’s hard to limit screen time for kids when you may need to be on a device for work, to shop or just for entertainment purposes. Kids learn behavior from watching their parents so modeling how you want them to use technology is a good way to create balance. They will have better technology habits if you help show them what moderation looks like while they learn to navigate their technology-enhanced life.
Find out more about our tgoma system here: (link to TGOMA video)

5 things about trampolines that may not be true

Trampolines have a bad reputation. You’ve probably heard stats, rumors, story from a friend-of-a-friend about trampolines. But when used appropriately (and with a little common sense) trampolines can be a fantastic addition to your backyard.
So … we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the top five trampoline myths to show you why they’re wrong.
1 – Trampolines Are Dangerous
You’ve all heard the stats, but trampolines don’t have to be dangerous. Did you know that each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries? Much like you encourage children to play safely on a playground, you should encourage them to play safely on a trampoline.

Trampolines are also safer than before – adding safety nets and even completely removing springs. Our smart springless design has not only changed the way trampolines work but it has eliminated the impact areas most commonly related to injuries.2 – Trampolines Can’t Be Used Safely

Yes, they can! Just like you wear bike helmets and have rules for swimming pools, you should have rules for safe trampoline play. We highly recommend following these five safe jumping rules to make your jump time even safer:
No Flips: Untrained jumpers can land on their head and neck, causing serious injury.
One at a Time: Having a single jumper eliminates the chance of collisions and injuries. And NEVER DOUBLE-BOUNCE! tgoma games for Springfree trampolines only work with one jumper at a time removing the worry of multiple jumpers.
Supervise Jumping: A responsible adult should keep an eye on the jumper.
Safe Clearance: Keep enough space around the trampoline (we recommend 1.5 meters) to allow room for the net to flex out. It’s also important to have safe overhead clearance of 6m.

Keep it Locked: Zip the net when the trampoline is not being used will keep unwanted jumpers away.3 – Trampolines Ruin Your Grass

We get this one a lot. People assume that if you have a trampoline the grass underneath will die because it’s not getting enough sun. But this depends on the backyard. Backyards that get a lot of sun don’t tend to experience grass dying underneath. However, if the trampoline is in a shaded area (or there are lots trees) then the grass can yellow out. If this happens we recommend placing mulch underneath.

To avoid this from happening, choose the best spot in your yard for the trampoline – one away from trees and shaded areas. And if you’re worried, you can always move the trampoline to multiple spots to ensure the grass isn’t blocked too long.4 – All Trampolines Are the Same

No, all trampolines are not the same and they are not all equal. Trampolines come in many different sizes – large, medium, small – and different shapes – circle, square, oval. And not just that, there are different types of trampolines – springless trampolines, spring-based trampolines and fitness trampolines. You have lots of options to find the best trampoline for you and your family.5 – Trampolines Are Just For Kids

Kids love trampolines, but they are just as much fun for adults too! You can add it to your exercise routine, use it to reduce stress and turn it into an outdoor activity for the whole family. Set family challenges to find out who can do the most jumps in a minute or who can do the most seat drops. A trampoline can be a great way to engage the entire family in the backyard.At Springfree we believe that kids deserve safe, active outdoor play. That’s why we re-engineered the trampoline from the ground up. To give families a fun way to play outside and give parents piece of mind that their children are safe.

6 things you need to know before buying a trampoline

With so many different trampoline models available ranging from inexpensive to premium quality, choosing the right trampoline can be tricky. People often ask which trampoline is right for me? What size should I choose for my yard? What size and model trampoline is best for my family?
Follow these steps to find the right fit for you and your family.
Step 1 – How Much Space Do You Have?
The first step to deciding which trampoline you need is to measure your yard and find out how much space you have. Trampolines range in sizes as small as 10 feet round and as large as 13 feet diameter.
Next, look for a section of your backyard that is clear of branches, debris, fences and slopes. (If you think the slope is more than 1 foot, you may want to have us come out and do a yard assessment).
Step 2 – Who Is Jumping?
The trampoline model you choose also depends on who will be using the trampoline. Is it just the kids or will Mom and Dad jump too? The trampoline maximum user weight can help.
The Maximum User Weight is based on how heavy you are and how high you jump. It is about ensuring jumpers don’t ‘bottom out’ (touch the ground while jumping). Each trampoline will have this marked and depending on who will be using it you may need a larger trampoline.
Step 3 – What Type of Trampoline Do You Want?
There are two types of trampolines on the market – the traditional spring-based trampolines and new springless trampolines.
Springless designs completely remove springs from the equation – like our Springfree™ trampolines. Instead of springs, they use flexible composite rods that are underneath the jumping surface and out of harms way.
Step 4 – Trampoline Safety Features
When it comes to trampolines, safety is at the top of the list for every parent. Trampolines have come a long way since you were a kid! Now all trampolines are required to have an enclosure net and pads covering the springs.
Dr. Keith Alexander, inventor of the Springfree™ trampoline, has gone so far as to redesign the trampoline from the ground up to make jumping safe. How?
Mat Rods – Springfree™ Trampoline uses flexible composite rods that lie beneath the jumping surface out of harm’s way.
Hidden Frame – Springfree™ Trampoline’s frame is well beneath the jumping surface – you can’t hit it.
SoftEdge Mat – Springfree™ has created a shock absorbent SoftEdge™ mat that eliminates any hard edges at the jumping surface.
FlexiNet Enclosure – Springfree™ Trampoline’s FlexiNet enclosure has flexible net rods that cushion jumpers and prevent falls.
Step 5 – Outdoor Games For The Family
Most parents want a trampoline to get their kids outside and active. Springfree™ with tgoma is the only Smart Trampoline that is digitally interactive and encourages safe, active outdoor play. Sensors on the trampoline mat connect via Bluetooth® to your tablet. Using your body as a controller, the sensors track your movement creating an interactive experience.
tgoma’s games are designed to offer a fun physical workout to challenge the entire family, while increasing the family time in the backyard. It has educational games that make learning fun; plus tgomaFit which allows you to set and track personal fitness goals and jump into a healthier lifestyle!Step 6 – Can I Keep It Up All Year?
In many cases you can leave your trampoline outside all year long. But you may need to take precautions in order to protect it including taking down the net, removing the mat, and covering it during winter. You can also disassemble your trampoline, but this can prove to be a difficult process (not to mention re-assembling in the Spring!).Springfree™ trampoline makes it easy for you. They are designed to stand against the harshest conditions. The SoftEdge mat and safety enclosure are UV-resistant to prevent deterioration from the sun and our frame is double powder coated steel for durability and to prevent rusting. The composite fiberglass rods are rust proof, unlike metal coil springs. So you can leave it up all year long, even in the rain and snow.
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Tired of playing H-O-R-S-E?

5 Basketball games you can play with your kids other than HORSE      
Basketball doesn’t have to be a sweaty, competitive game of 5-on-5. Maybe there are only three children playing, or the game is being dominated by more athletic children, leaving others without the opportunity to play. Either way, there are numerous games played with a ball and basket that youngsters of all skill levels will enjoy.
Here are five H-O-R-S-E alternative kids can play with just a basketball and hoop.

1. Knock Out

This game does require a low level of shooting ability, but remains an ideal game for kids with varying skills because everyone gets a chance.
Knock Out requires two basketballs and two or more players. The players form a line at the free throw line with the first two receiving basketballs. The first player shoots, and if he or she misses, the second player can “knock out” the first player by making the basket before the first player is able to corral the rebound and put his or her ball in the basket. If the first player is able to make the shot before the second player, they pass it to the next player in line, who then tries to knock out the second player while the first player returns to the end of the line. The game goes on until all but one player is knocked out.
2. Around the World
There are many variations of this game, but this one requires at least two players and a single basketball. The object of the game is to “go around the world” by making consecutive shots from predetermined spots around the court.
The first player must make a layup, followed by a shot between the basket and the free throw line, a free throw, a 20-foot shot from the wing, a 3-point shot, and a shot from half court. Once this is accomplished, the player must make every shot again on his or her return to the basket. The game ends with the layup.
Normally, the player must make all predetermined shots in a row or start over. But to make the game quicker, allow the player to stay on the spot where he or she missed while the other players take their turns. The player can start again from this point on the next turn.
Note: There are other variations, with the most common being shots ordered around the three-point line.
3. Firing Squad
This is a variation of Around the World, but instead of taking turns, all players shoot at the same time until a player has made a basket from each predetermined spot on the court.
4. Golf
As a game for kids, golf teaches young players to shoot from spots all around the court. The game requires two or more players and one basketball. The first player begins on the first hole, a predetermined spot where he or she must shoot. If the player makes the shot on the first attempt, the score for that “hole” is one. If the player misses the shot, they must shoot from where they grabbed the rebound. The score for that hole is the number of shots it took the player to make the basket. Just like a golf course, you can do this from 18 different spots on the court. The lowest score wins.
5. Musical Basketballs
Like musical chairs, but with basketballs, this game requires one ball per player and a source of music. Put all the balls in a circle and have kids, similar to musical chairs, walk around the balls while music plays. Once the music stops, the players grab a basketball and shoot. Once a player makes a basket, he sits down to show that he’s finished. The last player standing is out.
We’re not sure where you are in your decision to buy a hoop, but we are here when you are ready!
Let’s Get Started!
Article written by Brian Kendal www.activekids.com

Goalrilla VS Goalsetter. Which should you choose?

As you’ve probably realized by now, there are many residential basketball systems available on today’s market. At Playground World, we carry two of the best-selling residential hoops in America: Goalrilla and Goalsetter. This article will help you understand some of the differences between the two basketball systems.

Goalrilla Advantages:
  • Dupont® Powder Coated Paint – Powder coated products are less likely to be affected by impacts, moisture, chemicals, UV rays, and extreme weather conditions.
  • Rim Mounting – The flex-rim on a Goalrilla goal is mounted directly to the steel frame located just behind the glass backboard. This technology allows all the pressure to be taken off the glass during aggressive play, including dunking.
  • All Backboards Are Double-Framed- The back frame is heavy steel while the front frame is polished aluminum, giving the finished product a professional look and superior performance. This is a key difference and not to be discounted, as many competitors will gloss over details like these. It may not be apparent in a photo, but up close, the fit and finish of this is quite noticeable.
  • Clear View Backboards- Tired of seeing that steel backboard support in your backboard? They have become the preferred choice for the basketball purist, and they truly do give you that clean, clear look to your backboard. Goalrilla has an entire line of Clearview (CV) goals that look and play as close to the professional arena goals as you can get.
  • Rim Height Adjustment Range – Goalrilla hoops adjust from 10’ to 7’8”.

Goalsetter Advantages:

  • Rim Height Adjustment Range –Goalsetter hoops adjust from 10’ to 6’ (Signature series)
  • Both an adjustable and stationary system – Goalsetter has an internal locking system that prevents changing goal heights, unless authorized. This is quite handy for commercial applications, when you don’t want users lowering heights.
  • Hinged Ground Anchor System – The hinged ground anchor system allows you to take your hoop with you if you move. You simply leave the anchor and install a new anchor in your new home.
  • Triple Coated Paint Process – One coat of primer and two coats of baked on acrylic enamel make this goal a great option for parks, schools, and other commercial uses.
  • Made in the USA – Due to strong finances and demand for Goalsetter, 100% of the manufacturing for Goalsetter still takes place in Iowa today. They are manufactured just steps away from the teams who actually design and engineer the systems. This allows Goalsetter to have outstanding quality control and very quick response to dealer and customer requests.
Whether you choose a Goalrilla or Goalsetter basketball hoop installation you can be confident knowing you are getting a top of the line goal that you and your family and friends will enjoy for many years to come.
If you have questions about which hoop is right for you, call us at
1-800-381-4902. We’d love to help you through the process.