The most fun playgrounds are the ones where everyone can play together. Every child, no matter where they come from or their circumstances, should have equal access to parks. The ideal park includes a wide range of different options that visitors can choose from, and create the play experience that is comfortable for them. When you’ve created the perfect park, you’ll see kids of all ages and abilities enjoying play together. You might even be able to spot the grown-ups joining in on the fun!
We want to do everything we can to provide you with the resources you need to build and design the best inclusive playground. Read on to see how our experts recommend designing the best inclusive playground, featuring scholar-based research from our partners in play.
Entry Routes: Start with Accessible Walkways
Building and designing your inclusive playground should start from the ground up. The best way to ensure access to the playground is to choose a safety surfacing that is accessible to any person using a mobility device. Our best inclusive playgrounds utilize RubberBond poured-in-place rubber, a smooth, uniform safety surfacing that also has the highest safety ratings. Your playground design should have no barriers to play, so should have plenty of ramps to higher parts of play. Ramps leading to wide decks allow for multiple children using mobility devices to play and pass each other comfortably.
Integrate Accessibility Across the Playground
The best inclusive playgrounds are integrated, with accessible, creative, and exciting elements woven throughout every element of the playground. There are a few essentials that our playground design experts believe should be woven into every inclusive playground: Upper body events, graduated levels of play, a cozy spot on the play area, and ample seating with shade. With a variety of different play elements integrated together, kids are encouraged to play together! Keep reading to learn about some specific play events that will help you integrate accessibility across the playground.
Provide Opportunities for Creativity
Integrating accessibility into your play structure is easier than it seems! A great way to provide play for every child is to imbed outdoor musical instruments into the playground. Music is an inherently inclusive activity that encourages social and creative play. Add freestanding musical instruments like conga-style drums, soothing chimes, or panels that feature touch-sensitive switches that activate sounds and music. These are just some of the ways to provide opportunities for creativity and meet the needs of every child. Click the button below to check out our range of options for inclusive play.
Include Sensory Elements
Sensory play involves involves any activities that engage the five senses. It is essential to keeping every child comfortable and engaged at the playground. The sensory systems in the body help kids to coordinate their movements and regulate their behavior. Plus, kids love it when they can touch, hear and see amazing things at the playground! The best inclusive playgrounds include freestanding sensory panels and/or the Sensory Wave Climber. The Sensory Wave Climber includes a plethora of options for panels: Auditory, tactile, and visual panels that allow for a fun customizable design! See them all in our Inclusive Play catalog.
Add Free-Standing Play Events
Free-standing play events are an essential part of inclusive playgrounds for many important reasons. They allow for isolated areas that are key for quiet moments of play, away from the bustle of a larger play structure. And they allow for teachers, parents, and care takers to easily and comfortably interact and play with children. We have several options for free-standing play, including the Sensory Spinning Seat, the Merry-Go-All, the RoxAll See-Saw, and the Arch Swing. The best inclusive playgrounds are easy to spot - they are the ones where everyone is joining in on the fun!
Inclusive playgrounds are welcoming to all of the people who live and play in your community. Creating a playground that allows everyone to play involves careful thought and planning. We hope our resources can help you on your journey of designing and building the best inclusive playground!