Landscape Structures offers two different ways for full body tactile stimulation–the Roller Table and Roller Slide.
The Sensory Play Roller Table™ provides kids much needed sensory stimulation, through the application of deep-muscle pressure, from the steel rollers. It helps kids develop “skin map” of tactile sensory receptors throughout the body. There are siderails for safe sensory play and most importantly curved overhead hand rails allowing for varied arm lengths and abilities.
The Pulse™ line of interactive, multisensory games from Landscape Structures encourage movement in anew way. Colorful lights and engaging sounds invite kids to play this back-and-forth game that gets faster as it goes. Players can tally their points—or play just for fun. Either way, kids develop healthy sportsmanship skills and hand-eye coordination too. Great in therapeutic settings. Pulse™ Table Tennis is designed for 2 to 4 players and is a perfect height for a child using a wheelchair.
NEOS 360 by Playworld Systems combines the speed and fun of electronic games with the explosive movement of aerobic exercise and is one of the most inclusive playground activities I have witnessed.
Research shows playing NEOS delivers a workout comparable to jogging or playing soccer, raising heart rates by an average of 20 percent. In the ever present fight against obesity, NEOS disguises heart-pounding exercise as pure, unadulterated fun. It is important for people of all ages and abilities to get moving. Getting them out of the house and into the great outdoors is also key.
According to Stuart Schleien, Fredrick Green, and Charlsena Stone (1999) it takes three things to create a truly inclusive experience.
1. Get to the activity NEOS must be installed on a durable, stable surface to ensure that all people can access the game and play safely.
2. Ability to function in the space On the NEOS 360, the game buttons are placed at the optimal reach range for a child using a wheelchair. The installation recommendations suggest that the NEOS be placed away from the rest of the playground equipment. This extra space helps children with a variety of disabilities to function in the space by providing room for service animals and equipment. It also helps a child with autism familiarize himself with the game before jumping in.
3. Create Social Inclusion or the ability to gain social acceptance in positive interactions with peers. Because NEOS attracts people of all ages from toddlers to grandparents, it helps build this social acceptance. People gather around and cheer for the players regardless of their playing ability.
In my experience, it is rare that a child with a disability gets cheered by their peers in a typical setting; making NEOS an even more positive experience. When given the chance and the right environment, children are creative in figuring out ways for everyone to play.
In one instance at a playground in Ohio, a group of 8-year-olds were playing NEOS when they noticed a girl, Angela, not playing. Angela has cerebral palsy, which affects her ability to move most of her muscles, and requires she use a wheelchair to get around. The other children asked Angela if she would like to play. Her eyes lit up and she nodded yes. The kids pushed her right into the middle of the game. Angela added more challenge to the game as the children needed to get around her wheelchair to hit the buttons. Angela watched and laughed and the kids circled around her. It was a case of true inclusion and it was wonderful to watch. –
Elephant Play is a playground manufacturer in Canada that makes very different types of equipment. Today we will look at their jumping and bouncing opportunities and tomorrow will look at their other types of equipment.
After fences, the number one request that parents who are raising children with autism ask for in a playground is the opportunity to jump and bounce. I don’t know of any American companies that provide this opportunity. But Elephant Play does.
With a durable bouncy center of textile-enforced rubber, ElephantPlay’s Bouncing Play structures allow kids not only the freedom to climb, but to fly. Bouncing Play structures combine a unique jumping and rebounding experience that is not common in commercial playground equipment.
Beyond fun, research has shown that rebound bouncing play equipment can strengthen the heart, joints, and legs, while boosting metabolism, circulation, and lung capacity. With child obesity on the rise all across North America, the idea of instilling healthy play into kids’ every day activities is as important as ever.
Imagine a surprise buried in a sandbox – it’s the Bouncing Mat. The bed of the mat is made of reinforced rubber and attached to heavy duty springs which limit the jumping height to 18” (45 cm). The edge of the Bouncing Mat is built out of recycled rubber and thus it absorbs impact like a cushion.
By combining the Bouncing Mat with a versatile exterior rope structure, the Mini Bouncing Net maximizes activity on the playground. Not only do kids get to climb through an intricate net, its design enables young kids to reap their rewards by bouncing. The Mini Bouncing Net is a versatile structure that designed specifically for young children.
As the bigger brother of the Mini Bouncing Net, the Full Bouncing Net is a very similar play structure. However, it is bigger, higher, wider and designed for older children and higher capacities. The excitement of bouncing after climbing through the exterior net structure creates fun and challenging play.
Designing an inclusive playground can be a significant challenge. A great playground is one that offers children of all abilities the chance to test their motor skills.
Accessible playgrounds tend to only offer children who are working on the simplest skills the ability to practice. Children who have more advanced motor skills are often bored. Designers try to address this issue by adding challenging activities separate from the easier ones; in effect, creating an area for children with motor disabilities and an area for children without motor disabilities. While this may create an accessible playground where all children are engaged, it does not create an inclusive playground.
A truly inclusive playground allows all children to play together while at the same time enabling individual children to play at their developmental level.
Playworld Systems’ Triumph Climber breaks the mold. Unlike any other climber, it offers three levels of challenge in one piece of playground equipment. As the challenges increase in difficulty it requires a child to use more motor planning skills. Motor planning is the ability to perform a new or skilled motor task. One of the best ways for a child to learn a new motor skill is to imitate someone. The Triumph Climber is an ideal place for this type of learning to take place.
Landscape Structures‘ We-saw™ is a new take on traditional seesaws. Its unique design and gentle rocking motion invites kids and families of all ages and abilities to participate in the fun. The We-saw is wheelchair accessible. Like all see-saws, the We-saw provides opportunities for collaborative play and teamwork.
The We-saw has 4 seats with center platform for additional participants. There are spring mechanism and in-ground bumpers for controlled motion rubber stops on hand and footholds to ensure a firm grip. You can also add seat straps for further support.