Playground Safety Assignment
Objective: The goal of this assignment is to help you develop a clear understanding of playground safety features in Early
Childhood Education settings. The indicators focused on in this assignment include the physical environment and proper
Part 1: This section includes 4 videos to watch, with a total running time of 54 minutes. That’s it. No questions. Just
watch the videos. The information in the video will help you complete Part 2.
Part 2: This will be part of the typed portion of the assignment, about 3-5 pages in length, plus a title page about your
view point. The information you watched in the videos, read in the textbook, learned in class, looked at in the modules,
etc. will help you answer the questions in Part 2. In this part, please answer the following (using an ABC, etc. type of
format) in your paper:
A. Your opening paragraph should introduce general purpose of assignment (i.e.: “In the paper I will…”)
B. Supervision Tips: To keep children safe on the playground, constant supervision is required. Why is supervision so important? In your answer, be sure to include 5 “Supervision Tips” teachers need to do in order to keep
children safe on the playground. You may find the answers in the textbook, lecture or module material, on the
Internet, etc. (1 paragraph)
C. Wood versus Plastic Equipment: Read the handout/article about Wood versus Plastic playground equipment. Do you prefer a playground made with natural (wood) equipment or a playground made with plastic equipment?
Explain your choice. (1-2 paragraphs)
D. Equipment Evaluation: For this section you will evaluate 6 of the 13 playground equipment options (see pages 3-5
for details) and answer the following questions for each piece of equipment:
1. Be sure to address the targeted ages of children that would be appropriate to use the equipment and explain why.
2. Determine whether or not you think the piece of equipment would be safe at a preschool (or public park). Briefly explain why or why not. State any potential safety issues this equipment might have. List as least 2
safety issues for full credit. The (optional) “Playground Safety Checklist” handout and/or the Internet might
be helpful to think of possible safety issues for each piece of equipment. 3. Explain how each structure contributed to the child’s (physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive)
development. Basically address what the purpose of each structure/equipment might be.
Note: Please bold the headings (equipment names) in your paper.
E. Your Critique: What would your ideal “safe” playground look like? Your critique might include information regarding landscaping, materials/toys to play with, availability of shade, the playground surfaces (rubber mats,
grass, concrete, wood chips, sand), etc. This part will be a substantial critique (at least 1/2 page double spaced)
F. Conclusion/Closing Statement: End with a statement that summarizes your paper. (ie: What is your overall impression of playground safety?)
Note: When writing papers, be sure to use the word “children” and not the slang term “kids” (which mean “young goats.”)
Part 1 of the Playground Assignment
This section includes 4 videos for you to watch, with a total running time of 54 minutes. View them all at once or in
segments. These videos will help you better understand the role of (and safety regarding) playgrounds in Early Childhood
Education settings. That’s it. No questions. Just watch the videos.
1. Discovering Nature Classrooms in Early Childhood (Video #191) – 32 minutes
This video explains the importance of making sure children have opportunities to play and explore the outdoor
FYI: This Video States the Features of a Nature Explorer Classroom:
a. Entryway feature
b. Open area for large motor activities
c. Messy materials to explore (logs, pieces of wood, buckets, etc.)
d. Art Area (Can they represent what they see with clay, paint, etc?)
e. Nature Music Area
f. Construction Area (big blocks to build and play with)
g. Garden Area
h. Gathering Space (a tree house, deck, etc.)
i. Storage Area
2. Nature’s Way Preschool Outdoor Play Area – 10 minutes
“Nature’s Way is a “nature based preschool” that is part of the Kalamazoo Nature Center in Michigan. This is a
tour of the preschools outdoor play area and is intended to inspire others…”
3. Bright Sparks Preschool’s fantastic playground transformation – 2 minutes
This site “turned space that was overgrown grass into one that the children can learn through play within and enjoy all
year round……The new area includes zones for messy play, den-making, physical development, role play, creative
thinking, mark-making, messy play, investigative learning and literacy.”
4. The best kindergarten you’ve ever seen | Takaharu Tezuka – 10 minutes
This ten minute TedTalk is about the Fuji Kindergarten outside Tokyo.
Part 2-D of the Playground Assignment
Please use your textbook information, class discussions, videos shared in the modules, handouts, etc. to analyze
playground equipment. For this part of the assignment, please evaluate 6 of the following 13 playground
equipment options pictured below. Be sure to include a title page and opening/introduction statement. There is
a visual example of what the assignment should look like on page 6.
Choose 6 of the 13 Pieces of Playground Equipment to Evaluate
Tires (both secured in sand or not secured in sand) The See Saw (No! It’s not safe for a preschool. Don’t choose this one.)
Monkey Bars (2 pictures)
Rock Climbing Wall Trees to Climb (Yes! Note the red line……..)
Two types of slides: large yellow plastic slide, and orange double wave slide (Address both slides in your answers.)
Two types of climbing structures: small and large (Address both in your answers.)
Metal Climbing Structure (note distance to fence) Yes! Mud pit
Swingset (note distance from tree) No! The Roundabout or Merry-Go-Round (This one shouldn’t be at a preschool. Don’t choose this one.)
Yes! Tunnel, Bridge, and Stream of water Trampoline (NO! They are a serious liability at preschools. Don’t choose this one. Most insurance companies won’t even insure your site if you have a trampoline.) Please answer the following (complete with the name of the equipment bolded) for each piece of equipment:
1. Be sure to address the targeted ages of children that would be appropriate to use the equipment. 2. Determine whether or not you think the piece of equipment would be safe at a preschool (or public
park). Briefly explain why or why not. State any potential safety issues this equipment might have.
3. Explain how each structure contributed to the child’s (physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive) development. Basically address what the purpose of each structure/equipment might be.
Choose 6 of the 12 playground equipment (ie: swingset, slides, mudpit, etc.) to discuss in your paper.
(Sample Cover/Title Page)
El Camino College
1 A. Opening Paragraph
B. The Importance of Supervision C. Wood vs. Plastic Equipment D. Equipment Information 1. Tires a. Age(s) of children b. Safety issues c. Explain its purpose and how it supports children’s development (physical, etc.)
5. Swingset a. Age(s) of children b. Safety issues c. Explain its purpose and how it supports children’s development (physical, etc.) 6. Climbing Structure a. b. c.
E. Critique & Overall Impression 4
(Minimum of 1/2 page, double-spaced) This page is where you address what would your ideal “safe” playground look like