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The Power of Play

The concept of play can be quite challenging to describe, as it often manifests in ways that are hard to measure. However, it holds the remarkable ability to unify people, enhance communities, and motivate future generations. In this course, we’ll dive into the science behind play, examining its physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects. We’ll study how specific equipment, such as climbers, slides, swings, and spinners, support child growth and positively contribute to the communities they’re a part of.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

Understand the concept of play from physical, cognitive, social, and emotional viewpoints.
Outline the positive impact that specific play activities have on child development.
Illustrate why play is a vital component in the creation of public spaces.

We promise to NEVER misuse your email. On occasion, we’ll send a little fun to your inbox to break up those work emails. Exciting things like design tips, funding resources, upcoming events, and more! In addition, enter your email once and you’ll gain access to our full collection of course videos.

About this course

What will I learn?

Before there were standardized tests or printed books, children learned how society worked through play. Play is not only a fun activity, but also a learning tool that enhances kids’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and memory. It’s also important to remember that the concept of play is free. As designers, we cannot create play, but we can create opportunities to facilitate it.

In this course, Joe Palermo will examine play from multiple perspectives (i.e. physical, cognitive, social, emotional). In addition, he’ll go over the 7 benefits of play and their impact on child development, including:

  1. Balancing: Play that requires the ability to maintain a controlled body performance and equilibrium while performing a task.
  2. Sliding: Play that involves the child moving over a surface while maintaining continuous contact.
  3. Brachiating: Play involving moving by swinging with the arms from one hold to another on overhand equipment.
  4. Spinning: Play that involves the child rotating quickly or rapidly revolving around a central axis.
  5. Climbing: Play that requires the child to lift themselves over an obstacle or onto a higher surface.
  6. Swinging: Play that involves moving back and forth suspended or as if suspended from above in one direction.
  7. Sensory Play: Play that engages one or more of the five senses in a focused or highlighted way.

Who is my instructor?

Joe Palermo is the Vice President of New Product Design at PlayPower, the world’s largest commercial playground equipment manufacturer. At PlayPower, he manages a 42-person team across multiple brands, including Little Tikes Commercial, Miracle Recreation, and Playworld. For each brand, he oversees their concept designs, new product engineering, custom engineering, and R&D.

In addition to his industrial design role, Joe serves as the face of PlayPower’s product design team to external sales reps and partners. He frequently attends industry tradeshows and events, where he educates customers about the importance of product design. He has also made several appearances on TV programs and podcasts related to children’s play.

Joe is a proven, hands-on product design leader with 20+ years’ experience in both corporate and consulting environments. He specializes in launching compelling and innovative products that result in engaging consumer experiences. Aside from recreation, Joe has also worked in industrial design for leading children’s toys, power tools, and home appliances companies.

Joe takes a holistic approach to his work to ensure that his clients receive high-quality, safe, and economical products. This approach merges business strategy with creative storytelling to produce unique designs that stand apart from the competition. He is passionate about driving internal design culture, forging collaborative partnerships, and producing leading-edge results at every company he’s involved in.

Who is this course for?

The great thing about our courses is that they’re designed for all levels of experience. Whether you’re a parent on a PAC planning your first playground, or a landscape architect with decades of experience, there’s always something new to learn. Plus, our courses offer a quick way to stay up to date with the most recent trends in playground design.

Our courses take into account multiple groups and audiences, all of whom have different needs for their playground. A few groups that will benefit from taking our courses include:

  • Parents: Parent volunteers will learn the most important aspects to consider when planning their playground project.
  • Teachers: Teachers will learn about the educational benefits of play and how to incorporate them on the playground.
  • Landscape Architects: Architects will learn innovative design ideas that they may use in their upcoming projects.
  • Parks & Recreation: Parks professionals will learn about recent advances in safety, inclusion, and sustainability.
  • Property Managers: Property managers will learn how playgrounds can attract families to live in their neighbourhood.
Joe Palermo, course instructor for "The Power of Play."

Joe Palermo

VP of New Product Design, PlayPower Inc.

Joe Palermo is the Vice President of New Product Design at PlayPower. He specializes in launching compelling and innovative products that result in engaging consumer experiences. In addition, he has more than 20 years of experience in industrial design.

More Courses?

We’re glad that you enjoyed this course! If you’re looking to learn more about play, check out our full collection of course videos.

Watch now!

Playgrounds 101

Don’t have time for a video? No problem! We have a blog full of articles that you can read at your convenience.

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Contact Us

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