“Because it’s difficult to find non-commercial playground information. And I find that frustrating.

Because a playground doesn’t have to cost a million bucks and come in a box. In fact, it’s better if it doesn’t.

Because playgrounds are under-recognized as an artistic medium.

Because everybody loves a playground.”


I’m Paige Johnson, the author and editor of Playscapes.  I started the blog out of sheer frustration really; tasked with looking into new options for the small playground at my church I went to standard suppliers and was dismayed to find that the cheapest thing they wanted to sell me was $25,000 and it didn’t even look like very much fun.   I knew from my background in landscape history that there were playgrounds made by artists and designers, and creative stuff from the mid-century, but where to find them?  The first fifty pages of a google search for ‘playground’  turned up an endless repetition of the same poles and platforms.   Eventually, I found quirky and creative playspaces at archives, and in books from the 1970s, and in the back reaches of the internet, and one day I put up the blog for the above reasons,  just in case anyone else might be looking for a better way to make a playground, too.


That was five years and over 2 million page views ago, so I guess someone else has!  If that someone is you, thanks for stopping by, and for caring about the quality (not just the quantity) of children’s play provision.    More than anything I’m pleased that writing the blog has led to a gathering together of people like you.


I love hearing from my readers and receiving submissions , but the practical constraints of running a site like this mean I can’t answer every email, and even if I love your submission it may not get on the blog for a few months.  Never be afraid to write to me again, though, even if you didn’t hear back the first time.   In my day job, I’m a nanoscientist and a microscopist and I have a side-career as  a garden historian (go figure) with a research focus on hydraulics in the 17th century garden, Art Deco gardens and the Atomic Gardens of the 1950s (see gardenhistorygirl.blogspot.com) , and I’m writing a book, and coordinating the design and construction of my congregation’s new modernist church on 100 acres of Oklahoma prairie,  all of which makes for a teeteringly full inbox.


Particularly, though, I’d love to hear from you if you have ideas about how to make playgrounds better.  Let’s do that.


All best playground wishes,





More About the Blog

Extraordinary Playscapes at Design Museum Boston, June 2014

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Welcome to the new home of Playscapes!

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Whee….2 million page views!

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