Inclusive playgrounds are an invitation for ALL children to play TOGETHER. Playgrounds have come a long way over the years, and it’s now easier than ever to design a play space that has something for everyone - ropes and nets, slides, adaptive swings, sensory play like musical instruments and even interactive play that combines digital gaming with physical activity. With these innovations in playground equipment, children of all abilities and their families can experience meaningful play experiences with their peers! Inclusive playgrounds provide multigenerational health and wellness opportunities for everyone in the community.
Let’s look closer at how an inclusive playground can benefit your community as a whole!
Provide a Safe Space for ALL Children
Disabilities come in many forms. According to recent data from the US Census Bureau, over three million children, or 4.3 percent of the under-18 population, had a disability in 2019. These disabilities may include trouble with seeing, hearing, walking or climbing stairs. In other words, childhood disabilities are not rare, and physical disabilities make up a small percentage. Remember cognitive, sensory and emotional too when planning inclusive spaces.
By providing an inclusive playground in your community, children with varying abilities will have a safe space where they can interact with their peers and enjoy age-appropriate activities. This way, they can learn the same skills as their peers, such as climbing, running, jumping and safe risk-taking.
Promote Compassion and Understanding
If there’s one thing our communities need more of, it’s compassion for others. Fortunately, the outcomes from inclusive play are far-reaching.
Inclusive play promotes understanding and reduces prejudices. It breaks down barriers and fosters authentic relationships that children thrive from. The differences that could have separated children can now be embraced, and it all starts early on the playground.
Furthermore, inclusive play helps children with disabilities feel included and valued. This is something that every child wants and deserves. When communities are built on a sense of equality and togetherness, they become stronger and better for all residents.
Support Local Parents and Caregivers
It’s not uncommon for the parents of children with disabilities to feel isolated. Because it may be more difficult for them to do certain things, such as spend all day at a swimming pool or neighborhood pocket park, they end up spending a lot of time alone. But this is no way for millions of parents to live!
With inclusive playground equipment, you are sending a message that you see and care about the parents in your community. An inclusive play space makes it easier for these adults (or even older siblings) to live ‘normally.’ They can meet up with friends at the playground or form new friendships with other parents in the community. Even adding adult outdoor fitness equipment at the perimeter of the playground helps. That way parents can get some much-needed exercise, stress relief and enjoy the fresh air while watching their children play.
This connectedness goes a long way in creating happier parents and kids, which in turns helps the community reach its full potential!
Build an Inclusive Playground in Your Community Today!
Cunningham Recreation makes it easy to build an inclusive playground in your community. We have a wide range of inclusive playground equipment, as well as safety surfacing, benches, picnic tables and shade structures to complete your project. Contact us today to discuss your playground project!