Outdoor playgrounds are play hubs that provide freedom of play to the children. They are built with the core objective of inclusive play and are developed in all facets to fulfill this objective. But what is an inclusive playground? How is it different from usual playgrounds?
The inclusiveness lies in the creation of a playground that identifies all the children as equal, develops a child across all domains, provides access and promotes play between children of all abilities. When we provide a child with an inclusive play environment, they become aware, independent and encouraged. It not only nurtures a child but also helps them express. A child’s world of imagination comes into reality with an inclusively designed playground comprising of colorful play equipment and play stations. It becomes a medium for a child to express themselves. Thus, a world of play for all the children with no boundaries is an inclusive play experience for them.
Children who have special abilities should not be limited in their play and should be able to play with their peers in the same playground. When we design new playgrounds, we select and place the equipment in such a way that that children with all abilities can access them easily. Considering inclusiveness during the design stage of outdoor playgrounds is the first step to making inclusive playgrounds. The next step involved selecting outdoor playground equipment that has been designed to be accessible. Fortunately, global brands like Kompan (Denmark) and Holzhof (Italy) are leading designers of playground equipment that are meant for inclusive play. the last step is to ensure that the entire playground is easily accessible for children and safe for their free movement.
Playground product innovation is guided by the following five principles for universal, inclusive design.
1. Universal and accessible
2. Multifunctional (when possible)
3. 360 degree design (play from all sides)
4. Equipped with diverse play opportunities
5. Clear in color and design signals
TO BE FAIR, PLAY HAS TO BE INCLUSIVE. We believe that every child should have the right to leisure and play – regardless of their physical and intellectual abilities.
This belief is in line with the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely supported UN convention ever.