When you are thinking about designing an accessible playground or any playground for that matter, don’t forget the fence.
The fence? Isn’t it ugly? Won’t it cost of more money? What play value is there in a fence?
Yes a fence. It doesn’t need to be ugly. Look at this one from Elite Perimeter. If you want another type of fence, you can always landscape it. Yes, it will cost more money and there is no play value in the fence per se. However, what is the play value of your playground if no one comes?
Have you taken twins to a playground? One goes one way and the other goes the opposite way. There is no way to feel safe if there is nothing to contain them. One twins group in the Boston area will not recommend a playground unless it has a fence around it.
Have you ever taken a child with autism to a playground? Someone who may have no sense of personal danger, someone who may run (and run fast) when they get overwhelmed. Every parent of a child with autism that have I talked to said that without a fence–they are not visiting that playground.
Therefore, if you want everyone in your community to feel welcome and safe at your playground, fence it in. When you send out your press release announcing your new playground be sure to mention the fence and send it to all the twin groups and autism groups in your area. Take my word for it, your playground will be well loved.