Five Ways to Build an Inclusive Playground No Matter Your Space or Budget
Happy North American Inclusion Month, everyone!
In honor of this esteemed occasion, we've put together a handy list of 5 ways you can easily make your school or park playground more inclusive. You don't need a huge amount of space, and you don't need a massive budget. You can make a playground fun for everyone, no matter ability, in these 5 ways.
These swing seats are intended for kids ages 5 to 12 or 2 to 5. The swing seats feature high backs, arms rests, and a locking front harness to provide extra support for children who need it. It allows all children to swing together on the playground, and at less than $500 a seat, this is perfect project for a PTA or PTO that wants to raise money quickly to make a playground more inclusive.
There are five different models of Sensory Wave Climbers, though the most popular one is the Sensory Wave Arch. We've created a smorgasborg of auditory, visual, or tactile sensors -- including sensors with adaptive switch technology. These climbers feature hand holds and grip areas to make it easy to move throughout. The front-reach design makes it easy for people using a mobility device to interact with the sensors. It's the only climber of its kind and it only requires about 400 square feet to install!
These little nooks/climbers are a great way to a) provide sensory relief on the playground, b) create a social gathering spot, or c) offer an area for children to observe play before deciding to join in. All of these elements are really important when planning an inclusive playground, and the Sensory Cove Climbers provide all three in two different compact and affordable styles.
This inclusive merry-go-round is still one of our favorite inclusive playground activities. This is one of the many products we offer that's been awarded an AblePlay rating by Lekotek, the nation's central source on inclusive play. The seats are just the right height for people who use a mobility device to transfer into the Merry-Go-All. The forward-facing design allows users to see one another during play (social interaction!) and the center post is stationary so users can turn themselves -- or someone can spend the whirl from the outside.
This little seat is the most fun you can have in the smallest possible space and it's packed with inclusive play benefits. The high-back seat and slight arm rails provide additional trunk support and it's available with an optional five-point harness. When we debuted this spinning seat at a playground here in Chattanooga, there was a perpetual line -- kids just could not get enough of it. The seat is at transfer height and since it requires another person to spin the seat, it automatically creates opportunities for social and cooperative play. Hellooo, inclusion!
Here's our point.
You don't have to have tons of space or a massive budget to build an inclusive play environment. With a little planning and a little thought, you can go beyond space limits and budget limits and create a place where Play Has No Limit.