Natural Playgrounds Company Selected as 2010 Head Start Body Start Preferred Provider
For More Information, contact: Ron King
Phone number: 603-228-0476
RESTON, VA, (4/22/10) -- Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and
Outdoor Play (HSBS) today announced that the Natural Playgrounds Company has been selected
as one of only 31 playground and play space companies, equipment manufacturers, and other
creators of playground and play space-related resources for inclusion on its 2010 HSBS
Preferred Provider List (PPL).
The elite group of vendors have been vetted by a panel of early childhood movement
professionals and selected for their offer of discounts and value-added packages of safe and
developmentally appropriate products for recipients of the upcoming HSBS 2010 Play Space
Grant Awards. Nearly $2 million in Play Space Grants will be awarded to Head Start Centers
across the country this year by HSBS to improve their outdoor play spaces.
Grant recipients will be able to purchase uniquely designed value-added packages created by the
Natural Playgrounds Company at a discount of 25% off the retail price.
According to the Natural Playgrounds Company, “We are pleased and proud to be identified as a
2010 Head Start Body Start Preferred Provider and to be able to support Head Start programs
across the country in developing their outdoor play spaces.
“Being selected as a Preferred Provider means that we have met the very high standards of the
HSBS program, which is both exciting and challenging,” says Ron King, president of the Natural
Playgrounds Company. “The packages we created for HSBS are unique in the industry, so we’re
looking forward to working with potential Headstart facilities as they move through the grant
“Clearly, there is a growing interest in natural play elements, so we’ve been working hard to
design and manufacture inexpensive but unique, challenging, and discovery-oriented play items
that challenge children to move and explore their natural environments.
“For instance, we have a beginner package of our top-selling natural play elements, which is a
great mix of a variety of outdoor seating, musical and sound instruments, exercise and balance
items, and loose parts that promote creative play.”
King says that adding these items to any playground will make a significant difference in the
way children play and the choices they make.
“Outdoor play is associated with greater amounts of physical activity in children, and research
has shown that opportunities for whole body exercise has a long lasting influence as preschool
physical activity tracks throughout childhood,” said Center Director, Karin H. Spencer, EdD.
“Unfortunately children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation,”
added Spencer. “We want to help the Head Start staff discover the benefits of outdoor play
across developmental domains and learn about the features of high quality outdoor play spaces
that promote movement opportunities for children of all ability levels.”
The Natural Playgrounds Company joins HSBS in its efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. Learn
more about the Natural Playgrounds Company’s participation and the Play Space Grants on the
HSBS website at www.headstartbodystart.org.
Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (HSBS) is
a project of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the
American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR), which are associations of
the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).
Funding for HSBS is provided by the Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children
and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services.
The purpose of HSBS is to increase physical activity, outdoor play and healthy eating among
Head Start and Early Head Start children, families and staff.
HSBS will assist Head Start programs in creating healthy learning environments, both in and
outside the classroom, through structured and unstructured physical activity that leads to the
physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of young children and reduces obesity and
its associated costs. HSBS has three main objectives: (1) to inform and assist OHS in setting
national priorities and developing policies; (2) to provide resources, training and technical
assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start Centers; and (3) to administer and support grants
for construction or improvement of outdoor play spaces at Head Start Centers.
Natural Playgrounds Company is the leading US expert in the design and construction of
innovative, environmentally sensitive, equipment-free natural playgrounds, natural playground
elements, and outdoor classrooms, for K-12 schools, Montessori schools, Head Start programs,
childcare centers, and communities.
Natural Playgrounds and natural learning environments
- meet all safety and licensing standards
- are developmentally appropriate, cognitively challenging, physically demanding, and fully curriculum integrated
- optimize the use of every square inch of your outdoor space while being 100% ADA compliant
- are designed and built to reduce anxiety, create delightful interchanges, form lasting memories, and improve overall well-being
- are less costly than traditional, manufactured, equipment playgrounds
- and are beautiful, indigenous, sustainable, wildlife attractive, green, and environmentally friendly with a very low carbon footprint.