Southern New Hampshire Human Services Children’s Playground Success Story
At Nature of Early Play, we love seeing how our products impact the community. One of our recent playground installation projects was for Southern New Hampshire Human Services, a non-profit that provides childcare, fuel assistance, and residential services for people in need. Their mission is “to extinguish the root causes of poverty within our community at the source rather than only treating the symptoms, stopping the cycle at the start for sustained success.” They have expanded over the years to include numerous locations across New Hampshire, with daycare services provided at three locations for infants through Pre-K. We share in their passion, so we were excited for the opportunity to create a great play experience for the children who come to their facilities. This is truly a children’s playground success story. Read on.
We rely on our commercial playground installers and distributors to serve as the face of our company to our clients, and this project was no different. Doug Knotts from Premier Park & Play described his experience working as a liaison between Nature of Early Play and SNHHS with this project. The playground equipment distributor took the time to get to know this organization and their goals and provided guidance every step of the way. The result was an exciting new playground that continues to serve families in need in southern New Hampshire.
Age-Appropriate Playground Equipment for a Variety of Children
We have worked with SNHHS in the past with smaller projects, such as a compact play structure and rubber resurfacing. They were happy with their previous experience with this playground equipment supplier, so when they wanted to completely revamp the playgrounds at their Manchester location, they knew who to call. They decided to replace an outdated indoor playground that they had been using for their preschool-aged children and add an outdoor infant playground. Since SNHHS provides daycare, the children often spend the majority of the day at their facility. The leadership knew they needed to provide equipment to entertain their clients’ kids all day. They have about 75 children that come to their location on a given day, about 20 of them are infants, so the playgrounds need to be spacious and offer enough different pieces of age-appropriate play equipment to accommodate them.
Designing the Perfect Playground for Children is a Team Effort
The first step for the playground equipment supplier is to determine the current structures in place, if any, what the goals are for the project, and the client’s budget. In the case of SNHHS, Doug met with the executive director and the childcare director who were the leads on the project. They always try to incorporate feedback from support staff as well, so they can give input for what they hope to see from the project. Many times the administrative leadership establishes an overall vision, and the support staff gives insight into the practical day-to-day operations of the organization. In this case, the directors wanted the children to engage in sensory play and imaginative play while getting plenty of physical activity. Together they looked at a catalog of Nature of Early Play equipment and collaborated to determine which pieces would best fit these needs.
Our distributors, like Premier Park & Play, are highly knowledgeable about our commercial playground equipment. They know which pieces go well together to create a multisensory experience that fits the customer’s specific needs. Oftentimes they take a look at the surrounding environment of the facility and cater recommendations accordingly. Distributors even work with our in-house design team using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to plan the details of the layout before the playground equipment is ordered and installation begins. This prevents potential issues during the installation process, making it smooth and efficient.
Diverse Playground Equipment to Engage Young Children
In order to design the infant area, Doug relied on his expertise to recommend a diverse set of equipment that provided physical activity, opportunities to engage the senses, educational experiences, and endless hours of fun! They settled on the Daisy and Tractor playsets as well as a free-standing Paint Panel and Chime. The Daisy incorporates a chime panel that, along with the round chime, provides an auditory experience that can accommodate multiple baby musicians. Since young ones need to get their hands busy in sensory play, the paint panel and driving wheel on the Tractor were perfect additions.
One of the major benefits of a playground is exercise, which is necessary for physical and mental health for children and adults alike. This is why SNHHS and Premier Park & Play brainstormed to make sure lots of tots could get their daily dose of physical activity at their facility. The Infant Step and slide on the Daisy and the Rocky Ramp climber on the Tractor would provide great ways to strengthen the arms and legs of their infant clientele. Since they have many young ones to accommodate, they added multiple colored trike paths that not only provide physical activity but social play that is critical for that age group.
Toddler Play Area Provides Sensory Play & Tactile Experience
The new Pre-K area was designed to provide an abundance of sensory play opportunities. Little ones can get a tactile experience with the Paint Panel and Magnetic Chalkboard. For auditory stimulation, the Pre-K area features a Melody, Double Drum Table, Lilypad Cymbals, and a Griffin, so little ones can team up to make a chorus and strengthen their social skills. Since the leaders at Southern New Hampshire Human Services know the importance of education and want to spark a love of learning at an early age, they wanted to make sure their playground area incorporated plenty of learning opportunities that are loads of fun. The Double Nature Bowls were a great choice. These can hold sand, water, dirt, terrariums, or display natural objects which stimulate curiosity about the world around them.
These areas were finished off with plenty of comfortable seating and safety surfacing. Since SNHHS caters to a diverse population, the directors wanted the play areas to be inclusive and accessible. The Tractor, Art Panels, musical panels, and Beach Hut all meet ADA standards for accessibility. They were also excited that our products are made from Recycled Structural Plastic, which is not only durable and long-lasting but supports SNHHS’s passion for environmental sustainability. It is these final touches and attention to detail that drew SNHHS to return to Nature of Early Play products.
Today hundreds of children are enjoying Nature of Early Play playground equipment at three Southern New Hampshire Human Services locations every day. The efficient process is all thanks to our knowledgeable suppliers and distributors like Doug from Premier Park & Play. Contact us today and be a part of our growing list of success stories!