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What is an Inclusive Playground?

At Playscheme, we believe that children with disabilities and special needs should be able to play together with able-bodied children. And this is why we create playgrounds where all children can enjoy play experiences together, while feeling as included as any other child.

We strive to ensure that most of the play equipment that we design, is not only fun, exciting and educational, but that it is accessible for children of all ability, or that there is functionality for this to be put in place at a later date.

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We understand the true meaning of inclusion and with a consultative approach, we work together with schools, local councils and also special educational needs facilities and respite homes to really understand the requirements of inclusive play products.

Ensuring every single child gets the same enjoyment out of the play equipment that we create, our bespoke inclusive play products promote development, healthy physical activity, as well as learning outside of the classroom. And with this, we believe that all children will be inspired to participate, no matter what.

Playscheme can create amazing and inspiring spaces where children are able to blend in with everyone, even just for a little while, and where they are certainly not defined by their disabilities.

There are five different elements of inclusive play that we have to take into consideration when we are designing for certain projects. These are broken down into social and emotional, sensory, cognitive, physical and communication.

Social and Emotional

For play time to be truly inclusive, children need to be socially included. When children play together, they will learn over time to cooperate with each other, take it in turns on apparatus, and engage in imaginative and meaningful play experiences that will create memories for life. Ensuring that we provide areas for kids to feel emotionally secure, allows them to belong and choose when, how and where to engage in play with their peers.

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Products that will help with social and emotional play are:

  • Seating areas - to sit, rest, socialise and engage in various stimuli or activities outside of the classroom
  • Role Play Equipment - A play hut, stage or role play station will create dramatic play elements to encourage youngsters to think creatively and use their imaginations

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Sensory

Play is definitely most meaningful in environments that are packed full of sensory-rich equipment. This allows children of all ages to explore and discover their surroundings. Think of products that excite the senses, that are tactile, auditory, visual and that help children perceive and understand the world around them.

Products that will help with sensory play are:

  • Landscaping - Using consistent multi-sensory zones within your play scheme, you can use landscaping to create contrasting colours and textures for orientation and exploration
  • Interactive Panels and Signage - Fireball, Daisy Heads and Make it Rain panels allow children to interact with the wheels and listen to the different sounds that they create. Our Bongos Panel also lets kids get musical, creating tunes by tapping the drums
  • Nature Area - Natural materials can stimulate the senses, so engagement with plants, sand, water and even a Bug Hotel can create a beautiful experience on the hands and feet

Cognitive

It is proven that children learn from a young age through play and interaction with people and their surroundings. Helping to support intuitive play behaviours that stimulate development can in fact encourage children to remain engaged in meaningful play for longer timeframes. Our play schemes not only provide opportunities for children to get involved with problem solving, but also gets them to think more abstractly and build vital skills through hands on experiences.

Products that will help with cognitive play are:

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Physical

With child obesity on the rise, it is so important that children possess the opportunity to be physically active at all stages of their childhood. This is why we ensure that within our play schemes, we provide spaces to get active through play. Our play environments provide a whole host of appropriate activities that will aid development and most-importantly challenge children of all abilities.

Products that will help with physical play are:

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Communication

Building confidence in children by creating comfortable environments in which to play is so vital, and this is something that we live by here at Playscheme. Playgrounds will not only support the development of receptive and expressive language, but they also allow children to express themselves through natural play. 

Products that will help with communication are:

Interested in hearing more about our inclusive play products? Give us a call on 01904607677 or arrange a consultation via email on mail@play-scheme.co.uk

Download our brochure for more information