Playgrounds, as most child experts agree, are an essential part of children’s development. They not only serve the kids for leisure purposes, but they also help induce creativity, enhance social skills, improve cognitive abilities, and provide physical activity. Studies across the world have proved a lot of other nuanced benefits of playgrounds. Even the governments have supported them. Premier John Horgan announced in May 2018, that his government had created a $5 million fund for the ongoing support of playgrounds. The program would provide new or upgraded playgrounds at 51 schools around British Columbia, Canada, by the start of the new school year, with 25 of them receiving $105,000 so that they could build universally accessible playgrounds. They stressed on universally accessible playgrounds on the grounds of equality. With such wide-ranging benefits to the government support for accessible playgrounds, it is imperative for every playground to have handicap accessible playground equipment.
Handicap accessible playgrounds are beneficial in more wide-ranged ways than one might think of, such as:
- Socialization: Handicap accessible playground equipment gives children of different abilities an environment to play and engage with each other. They make more friends. Hence, it makes them feel better about themselves. Nevertheless, they get honed at their social and communication skills.
- Physical activity: All children need some physical activity in their lives. Accessible playground equipment facilitates movements that help in burning calories, strengthening of muscles and improve balance & coordination.
- Mental Development: When children with or without disabilities play, they develop problem-solving skills and creativity through pretend play. This also improves their decision-making skills, cognitive skills, and imagination.
- Inclusiveness: It is good for society and communities when there is equality. Usually, children with a handicap are placed in therapeutic day schools rather than traditional classrooms. This way, there is less interaction between these children and their peers. If more playgrounds have equipment for children with special needs, they could serve as a leveling field where special needs and other labels matter less and children can meet each other on their own terms.
Let us mention some handicap accessible playground equipment:
- Skeleton accessible sand table: This dinosaur skeleton sand table can be added to any accessible playground route.
- Accessible school bus: Accessible school bus is a model school bus with two steering wheels and plenty of seating.
- Accessible digger: Children always love to dig up the sand. Accessible digger is a fully functional digger with moving arms and bucket. It is designed specifically for children in wheelchairs.
- Accessible turning bar: Accessible turning bar is wheelchair accessible equipment that offers upper body activity. Another variant of this is the accessible trapeze bar.
- Accessible paddle power: Children of all abilities can paddle on this suspended paddle wheel, which provides vigorous upper body exercise.
- Accessible step-up: Accessible step-up is a special need access point for children and caregivers.
- Accessible trapeze beam: Accessible trapeze beam consists of moving grips that challenge children of all abilities.
- Accessible overhead ladder: Accessible overhead ladder can be used with a wheelchair when installing on an accessible surface.
The above benefits and the wonderfully accessible equipment make it evident that all playgrounds need handicap accessible playground equipment. For further inquiries, call us at Henderson Recreation.