Playtime is important to every child’s development, not only contributing to physical and social skills, but also helping them discover their own self-interests. Research shows that children who enjoy regular playtime are less likely to suffer from depression and childhood anxiety.
However, finding the perfect place to play isn’t always easy, especially for kids with physical challenges. The government is making headway in this area under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires all playground designs, materials, and equipment to provide equal playing opportunities to children with disabilities as it does to their more able-bodied counterparts.
Playgrounds should not just be inclusive, but also allow effortless movement for wheelchair users. Here are a few product components that provide all children an opportunity to enjoy playtime:
Activity panels give kids a chance to exercise their creativity and imagination through music exploration (learning about rhythm, sound, and pitch) and simple coordination games. These panels have accessible-height activities to promote mental engagement and hand coordination through moving steering wheels and colorful balls.
“Rock’n Ship” Glider
According to the ADA, wheelchair accessibility platforms must have guardrails or barriers, and openings for access/egress play components should be narrowed to 15 inches or less. The wheelchair-accessible Rock’n Ship glider features a moderate swaying motion and 70 square feet of deck surface.
Rails are important for kids in wheelchairs as they provide gripping support, helping improve their ease of movement and maneuverability.
Therapeutic rings are ideal for stretching and exercising the upper body, helping improve mobility, strength, and overall health for any child.
Talk Tubes offers kids the chance to experience quiet downtime away from the noise of the playground while still enjoying one-on-one engagement.
Inclusive and adaptable playgrounds are important for all children to be able to interact, regardless of physical ability. To accomplish this goal, consider additional components such as ramping structures, surfacing, and sensory panels. Kids with disabilities and their parents will thank you … and so will their friends!