What comes to mind when you think about inclusive playgrounds?
You’re probably picturing a child with a mobility device navigating a play area surrounded by poured in place rubber surfacing.
And that’s a great start- poured in place rubber surfacing provides a smooth even surface that’s accessible to children (and their grown ups!) who use all manner of mobility devices, but accessibility is only one piece of inclusivity. Inclusive design doesn’t just mean everyone can get to the playground, but that they can all play together when they get there.
Inclusive design should include opportunities for all kinds of play- cooperative, dramatic, imaginative and physical play, and ways for those activities to happen together.
So how can you make your playground more inclusive?
*Group activities in ways that allow children of different abilities to combine types of play
Install components like Raised Sand Tables allow children to gather around an activity that encourages cooperative and imaginative play.
Incorporate Gizmo Panels and Games into the high traffic areas of a playground
*Create cozy spaces
Enclosed spaces with an included activity allow for safe places for children to engage in independent play when they are still building confidence, or need sensory relief due to overstimulation
*Utilize Transfer Points
Transfer points allow children who can transfer from their mobility device to access the playground equipment independent of their device. Make sure they are able to get back to ground level near their device and create a play loop.
These are just some starting points for making your playground as inclusive as possible.