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Case Studies: Success Stories of Inclusive Playground Equipment


For many children, playgrounds are a magical space where friendships are built and memories are made. Traditionally, playgrounds have provided a space for children to run, jump, climb, swing and slide. But for children with disabilities, traditional playgrounds can present physical barriers that exclude them from this essential part of childhood. Fortunately, things are changing.

Inclusive playgrounds are well-designed spaces that invite all children to play regardless of their age or abilities. This way, all children have the opportunity to play together and build a sense of community. Cunningham Recreation works with schools, daycares, churches, communities and more to create inclusive playgrounds that are original, colorful and fun. Below are some success stories of inclusive playground equipment.

Inclusive Play and Wellness Park, Lake Ridge, VA

Located in Prince William County, this inclusive playground features freestanding flower shades, a roller table, multiple climbers, swings and a seesaw. Everything follows a nature theme, with the climbers taking on the shapes of butterflies, dragonflies, caterpillars and honeycombs. Even the poured-in-place safety surfacing has a custom honeycomb pattern. The playground is also colorful, with plenty of room for children to move around and engage with otters. To top the cake, the playground sits on 2.5 acres, with access to meadows, a pollinator garden and looped walking trail. It’s the first of its kind for this community!

Butterfly and Bee inclusive Playground, Whiteville, NC

Another creative take on an inclusive playground is the Butterfly and Bee Themed Inclusive Playground. Nestled in Columbus County, NC, this bright and sunny playground shows off various shades of blue, orange and green, equipped with umbrella shades and poured-in-place rubber safety surfacing. Other activities that children can enjoy are the wall climber, climber archway, spring riders and the ADA PrimeTime Swing Frame with the popular Expression Swing.

Inclusive Playground with GT Splash, Walkersville, MD

Walkersville, MD offers an inclusive GameTime playground, which features a fully wheelchair accessible ramp, high back swings, a spin-with-me structure and a shade structure for maximum comfort on warm, rainy or windy days. The highlight of the playground is the GT Splash, an affordable and space-saving inclusive net climber. Poured-in-place safety surfacing also provides a smooth and easy surface that all kids can move easily on.

National Demonstration Site for Inclusive Play – Richardson, TX

Cottonwood Park in Richardson, Texas is a PlayCore/GameTime National Demonstration Site for Inclusive Play. The playground features a fully ramped accessible play structure including the Sensory Wave Climber, a variety of sensory panels and many freestanding inclusive play events; Roller Slide, Rock-N-Raft, Merry Go All, RoxAll seesaw. The play space has both traditional swings with belt and tot seats, adaptive seats and the popular GT Expression Swing. The playground is completed with poured-in-place (PIP) rubber safety surfacing.

Large Inclusive Elementary School Playground – Oskaloosa, IA

Oskaloosa Elementary School is located in Oskaloosa, IA and features a large inclusive GameTime Powerscape modular play structure. The play structure is age appropriate for students and is fully ramped. Play events include: overhead loop ladder link, chinning bar, crunch bar, the popular river rock climber, Sprout Climber, Funnel Bridge, and sensory wave panel with chimes. The playground also features a GT Powerscape PrimeTime Hybrid play unit with Trillium Climber, Wilder Slide, roller slide, Erratic Climber with Hex Net, Sensory Wave, Rock N Raft and the unique Odyssey Pod with internal climber. An additional physical fitness component includes a KidCourse with obstacle course activities. The playground is completed with swings including the popular GT Expression Swing and Poured-in-Place (PIP) Safety Surfacing.

These are just a few of the successful playgrounds with inclusive equipment that have brought children of all abilities together for endless play and fun. Cunningham Recreation can help you transform your playground into an inclusive play space as well. We can help you design a new playground from scratch, or we can help you select some of the best inclusive equipment to add new functionality to your playground. Contact us today and let us know how we can help make your playground a better place for everyone!