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Why You Need To Make Your Playground Inclusive?

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Why You Need To Make Your Playground Inclusive?

Why You Need To Make Your Playground Inclusive?: Everyone loves to play and play is more fun when it is done together. By bringing children together to play, playgrounds create the perfect environment for having fun and encouraging physical activities. However, a lot of play areas are not designed to cater for all children. Due to the construction of the area and the kids of playground equipment preset, children with developmental or physical challenges may be unable to access or play on some spaces. Admittedly, the concept of inclusive playgrounds appears to be fairly new (although it has been around for a long while). Thus, the design of many old play spaces failed to take this important factor into account.

 Make Your Playground Inclusive
Make Your Playground Inclusive

Why You Need To Make Your Playground Inclusive?

As a playground administrator, you should know it’s not too late to make a change. With simple reconstruction and equipment modifications, you can transform your playground into an inclusive one. If you are wondering why you need to make your playground inclusive, below are a few reasons why you should 

Developmental benefits for all children

Inclusive playgrounds give all children an equal shot at reaping the numerous developmental benefits that come with physical activities. Numerous studies have shown that physical play greatly enhances brain development in children. While playing, children develop vital motor skills, social skills, decision-making skills, and language skills, among others. The interaction with their peers and the environment could also help in social and cognitive development, while also helping them develop a higher level of emotional intelligence and self-confidence. You’d easily agree that no child should pass on these benefits. 

Because of the general societal stigma and the non-inclusive nature of many playgrounds, parents of children with physical and developmental challenges tend to prefer to keep their children at home. If such parents know your playground is accessible to everyone, and that their children can play on the available equipment, they would be more inclined to bring them out to play. These children would perhaps reap the most developmental benefits from the play activities. 

Inclusive playground equipment encourages creativity

Inclusive playgrounds and playing amenities can help bring out the creativity in children. Due to the diverse nature of kids patronizing such play areas, a piece of inclusive equipment does not just encourage exercise. They often focus on an all-round stimulation of the child’s facilities. This could help bring out the creativity in children, whether they have developmental challenges or not. The versatility in this set of amenities is such that they pay attention to sound, color, texture, accessibility, and all other relevant elements, in a bid to make them suitable for all. 

Breaks barriers and instills values

Playing together is the best way to break the mental barriers that we unconsciously construct in the mind of our children. Inclusive playgrounds help to achieve this. While interacting with other children, they learn not to stigmatize or mistreat. They learn that everyone is unique in their different ways and that staring at others awkwardly could hurt their feelings. They would not even feel the need to stare at others since they are used to seeing them around. They also learn empathy and the need to help others in certain situations. These lessons, although seemingly inconsequential, are important in developing tolerant and empathetic adults; the kinds of people society needs. 

Fosters a sense of community

A play area, by nature, is meant to bring people together. When such establishment does not embrace a certain set of children, it fails to achieve what should be its primary purpose. Inclusive playgrounds are open to children of all ages, genders, races, and disabilities. Therein, these kids meet, interact and learn to see each other as equals. The bonding also extends to parents of kids with or without disabilities, caregivers of kids with disabilities and even adults with disabilities who may find the space calming. At the end of the day, everyone would be able to develop a strong sense of community that would have a ripple effect of the larger society. 

A breath of fresh air

Check out all the playgrounds in your area and you’ll see that only a few are truly inclusive, if any. Interestingly, owners all over are complaining of lower patronage and are seeking newer ways to encourage children to play. Installing inclusive playground equipment in your facility may just do the trick. Aside from attracting a wider customer base, you should also anticipate higher patronage from the regulars in your facility. Inclusive playfield amenities are more interesting and exciting to interact with than the regular stuff you see around. Children would also be more willing to visit your facility when they know many other children would be around. All in all, you’ll be offering everyone a breath of fresh air and you’ll reap the returns on your investment. 

If you are looking to build a new place for play, inclusivity should guide your decisions during the design and planning phases. If you have a non-inclusive one already, it’s never too late to make the required modifications. You’ll need to start by modifying the facility such that it would become accessible to all, if that’s not yet the case. Then you may proceed to install equipment that can be used by everyone. If you’re willing to take this step, there are numerous playground design and consultancy firms that can help achieve your aim.