When it comes to inclusion, it’s best to plan ahead instead of trying to retrofit something later. This is especially true for a playground. Retrofitting can be expensive and you may not end up with the best results. Planning for inclusive play at the beginning of the playground process lets you clearly identify your goals and work to meet them. Here are some tips to consider in the planning process. Inclusive playgrounds should provide:
What happens if we take the planning back even further than the layout of the playground? What if we tasked product designers from the beginning to create inclusive and accessible equipment?
Playworld Systems’ designers were recently charged the creation of an original product geared toward children 2-5 years old. The product had to meet several goals, including complementing the existing Activo line, have a variety of price points, and support inclusive play.
The end result? Activo Bambino, which provides a full complement of activities for young children. A double slide from a comfortable platform height and several 48” ground-level panels feature a plethora of tactile experiences.
Moving outward, there are four arches each providing a unique activity, climbing, swaying, spinning and cozy quiet places. Up to four arches can be mounted and the playground planning group can decide which of the activities to include that best matches their needs and budget.
On the outside end of the arches new and different activity panels can be added. There are eight panels to choose from, offering a wide variety of activity stimulating the visual, tactile and audible senses while engaging the cognitive, fine motor as well as social skills.
Inclusive elements were included in each and every component of this product. Take the slides for example:
On this one component there is sliding, climbing stairs, tactile input, visual input, socialization, cozy space, and easy access. All of the other components are as well thought out as this main piece of the structure. What inclusive elements would you consider if you were designing an inclusive play structure?