Continuing Education

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Educational Courses for Everyone

There’s always more to learn when it comes to designing inclusive, safe, quality projects. Continue your education with courses available on-demand through our learning management system or through a live webinar. The courses are free and open to everyone.

On-Demand Courses  Live Courses

Accreditation

Landscape architects and other professionals are encouraged to use our free courses to maintain your accreditation* thanks to our status as an approved provider through ASLA’s Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES). Courses are approved for LA CES 1.0 PDH/HSW accreditation.

*To receive accreditation, you must pass the quiz at the end of each course.

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West Fenwick Park, WA

On-Demand Courses

Learn at your own pace with our on-demand courses—available at any time. First time users; select “Sign Up” to register. (Please note there is a multi-step process for registering.) Returning users; select “Log In” and enter your credentials. To browse the courses we have available, select “View Course Descriptions”.

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View Course Descriptions

How to Register for On-Demand Courses

On-Demand Course Descriptions:

All on-demand courses are previously recorded.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 36 children has autism. This number has been on the rise over the years, and it’s estimated that over 3.5 million people in the United States now live with an autism spectrum disorder.

This course explores autism and its implications for families going to a playground. You’ll learn what autism is and how it impacts those born with it. You’ll also discover 10 specific playground strategies you can employ to help address the needs of children with autism in a design that works for neuro-typically developing kids, too.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Define autism and what it means for families going to playgrounds.
  • Explain how different playground equipment stimulates the sensory systems.
  • Discuss how playground layout can impact a child’s experience.
  • Utilize a 10-step checklist to ensure a playground is designed to support a child with an autism spectrum disorder.

What does it take to create an extraordinary playground? What strategies should you put into place so your new playground is visited by families from the neighborhood and from the next county over? In this course, we’ll highlight a variety of built play spaces. We’ll see how playgrounds fit into bigger settings, how theming makes a statement, and how surfacing or even one or two pieces of unique equipment can make a playground extraordinary. We’ll also discover why multi-generational and/or inclusive playgrounds draw families from far and wide.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Discuss how water play, height, and unique equipment can help create an extraordinary playground.
  • Identify small details that can turn an ordinary playground into an extraordinary one.
  • Explain how playgrounds that reach the widest audience can often be extraordinary ones.

This course will examine successful inclusive playgrounds around the USA—from New York to Nevada. We’ll identify common design elements that help make these playgrounds inclusive. We’ll also see how each community chose to make their playgrounds unique and fit the needs of their constituents with ground-based play, ramps, surfacing, theming, unique climbers, and tons of sensory play.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • List different types of children who use an inclusive playground.
  • Define concepts like range of challenge, parallel play, and sensory play.
  • Identify the most important elements of an inclusive design.

Safe and accessible surfacing is required in all public playgrounds. It’s also true that surfacing consumes a significant portion of the playground budget. So, how do you get the most bang for your buck? It is easy to increase the play value of the playground by creating designs, games, and undulations with the surfacing to help tell the story of your playground and provide important wayfinding details. In this course, we’ll explore how unitary surfacing can be used to make an otherwise ordinary playground the talk of the town.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Identify strategies to create more play value using surfacing.
  • Explain how surfacing can complement a wayfinding system and communicate about safety.
  • Summarize the pros and cons of detailed surfacing designs.

By the time students complete elementary school, they will have spent as many as 1,300 hours on the school playground. Children play differently on a schoolyard playground than they do on a community playground. As designers, we need to take this into account. This course will walk you through design decisions for creating a school playground that works for a wide range of child development needs. It will answer questions like “How do you keep fifth graders as interested as first graders?” and “How do you keep everyone engaged day after day?”

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Describe how play on a school playground occurs differently than a community playground.
  • List five design strategies for an effective school playground.
  • Explain how to incorporate loose parts into a playground design.
  • Advocate for school recess.

When you drive by a playground, what makes you take a second look? In this course, you will learn what allure draws observers, dissecting aesthetics’ impact on emotions and design. We will explore the impact of color, line, tone, texture, scent, sound, and image. Dive deeply into the elements that explain why the visual impact of your play pieces is as important as the equipment itself. Learn to harmonize visual appeal with child development and community engagement in playground design. Elevate your skills to create captivating, well-balanced play environments.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Define the 3 fundamental layers of design and how they correspond to the end-user experience.
  • Describe how color affects our perception of a product.
  • Describe how industrial/aesthetic design impacts an overall play experience and, ultimately, your (or your client’s) brand.

How well do you really know the surfacing you’re specifying? Maybe it’s been a while since you were introduced to surfacing, and the basics have become a distant memory. Or maybe you didn’t even know safety surfacing was a thing. Even the most knowledgeable individuals in the industry need a refresher course on all the options available. Returning to the basics is a great way to review the facts and train others on what safety surfacing entails and the “foreign language” surrounding the industry. In this session, we will discuss the 101’s of safety surfacing, its purpose, and the pros/cons of each type, including engineered wood fiber, pour-in-place rubber, tiles, turf, and cork.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Explain to customers what questions need to be addressed when selecting safety surfacing
  • Understand the basic terminology laid out in the guidelines and their importance.
  • Identify the pros and cons of each type of safety surfacing.

Live Courses

Sign up for one of our upcoming live Continuing Education courses below.

Join us in exploring playgrounds that cater to diverse family structures and age demographics. We’ll delve into the challenges of engaging children of varying ages, from curious 5-year-olds to adventurous teens, all while ensuring that parents and grandparents feel welcomed and included in the fun. Together, we’ll uncover strategies and layouts that foster intergenerational play and engage the entire family at the playground.

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify play activities tailored to a variety of age groups.
  • Explain how certain playground games can engage multiple generations.
  • List essential site amenities that support the needs of everyone.

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