Remaking Learning for a Changing World
Remake Learning
21

Thank you for this opportunity to tell my story which can also be seen through the development of my website, FANS of Play — www.fansofplay.com

I, Dennis Smiddle, am a retired Pennsylvania Child Care Health & Safety Inspector of 20 years. I, also spent 6 years as a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, 6 years as a Pennsylvania Keystone Stars Playground Safety Trainer, and 15 years as a Recreation Therapist. I probably inspected over 1,000 playgrounds and some of the most fun I’ve had growing up was on the playground. However, through all my knowledge and experience with playgrounds, I have found that the traditional/conventional playground has changed little in the past 50 to 60 years.

The good news is that most of the traditional (prescriptive) equipment is much safer and more accessible to all children than it use to be. The bad news is that it doesn’t come close to giving children what they want and need.

Basically, there are two types of playground designs, prescriptive and suggestive. Early childhood experts know that children learn best through free play and discovery. Quality play involves the whole child: gross motor, fine motor, senses, emotion, intellect, individual growth and social interaction. The traditional school or neighborhood playground meets only a fraction of these needs.

In 2014, I started my company FANS of Play, to help maintain the recommended safety compliance of existing traditional playgrounds and to add more beneficial, healthier and safer play and learning opportunities everywhere. FANS of Play is a cooperative and non-profiteering company that welcomes partnering to help empower the advancement of the following shared goals.

FANS of Play advocates for more Fitness, Arts, Nature, and Science in outdoor play environments. These play opportunities are necessary in today’s world and more beneficial towards building healthier lifestyles. They can provide more physical, emotional, social, and cognitive benefits to better deal with current issues such as the disconnect with nature, responsible environmental stewardship, obesity, bullying, and STEM learning.

FANS of Play recognizes the need for play opportunities to be Fun,Accessible, Nurturing, and Safe. These play opportunities can be created with easy-to-install playground borders, swing mats, protective surfacing, age-appropriate playground equipment, recommended lay-out, and efficient, cost-effective use of resources. You can do-it-yourself while FANS of Play guides you through the process and refers reputable playground or landscaping companies.

FANS of Play supports Fundraising, Advertising, Networking and Social Media Sharing. There is a great deal of important work being done in the field of ‘play’ and this work relies on strong fundraising, advertising, networking, and social media sharing to advance those important goals.

Thank you for your interest,

Dennis Smiddle — Owner of FANS of Play — dennissmiddle@msn.com

Education Play Safety

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