Inclusive Play: Why it's important and the equipment available 

 

Inclusive play is a way of bridging the divide between mainstream and special needs children. Both groups can benefit from these play methods and learn a lot from mixing with those different to themselves. Children at all ages learn in all aspects of development through play: emotional, social, physical and mental.


WHY IS INCLUSIVE PLAY SO IMPORTANT?

Having a Grandson who is autistic I became acutely aware of how certain styles of equipment could have a profound effect on enhancing learning and socialisation, making areas inclusive for all has become something that myself and my team at Mant Leisure always strive for.

Play equipment needs to be wheelchair accessible or adaptive equipment so that those slightly less able can participate in the same activities as a youngster who is able bodied.

Some of our favourite projects have become magical areas where those who are autistic or on the autistic spectrum, handicap or deaf-blind or perhaps are dealing with the day to day difficulties of Asperger’s can learn a wealth of experience by touch, feel, sound and colour with the use of play equipment which is both disability accessible and sensory. 

 Charles Mant with his grandson
Children who are less able do not want to feel as though they have special equipment

For some children just being in an area that makes that child feel happy content and relaxed and able to participate and feel a sense of freedom to explore without limits is massive, it is also important to note that children who are less able do not want to feel as if they have to have special play equipment which singles them out from other children, so we like to make sure that our equipment can be shared by all and is interactive and accessible to both those who are able and less able. My favourite items of equipment listed below are on our favourite’s list for that very reason, we think every child has the right to be included in all the actives that are available within our local parks and open spaces.

Inclusive Play Equipment: Our Favorites

Play Houses and Cubbies

Play houses and Cubbies are having something of a renaissance as parents and schools try to get children away from their computers and play stations and back to enjoying what nature provides.

When we were young play houses were something you invented out of sticks and your Mothers old bed sheets, these days schools and nurseries are having to be a little more safety compliant, but this doesn’t mean children should not be afforded the same fun that can be obtained by using sheer imagination, and play houses are a great way to get those little minds working.

Play houses are often the best place for role play to take place which is very important for children’s development, children learn something about social rules, about compromising, negotiating and dealing with conflicts, role play requires cooperation and communication, which is why playhouses and cubbies support a child’s creative and language development.

We provide many different styles of play house from timber to polyethylene and steel, our houses and cubbies are equipped with all manor of options from the traditional pitched roof style to models which provide activities such as sand machines and pits, splash tables, kitchens and shop front kiosks, these units are not only accessible and inclusive but provide a place for relaxation and roleplay to take place which should be encouraged as well as the traditional means of play.

Pictured are just a few of our exciting playhouses and cubbies please ask us for more information or a quotation.

 Ledon Playhouse Lily

Ledon Playhouse Lily

 ABC Playhouse Crailsheim

ABC Playhouse Crailsheim

 Ledon Helicopter Cubbie

Ledon Helicopter Cubbie

 Ledon  Fire Engine Cubbie

Ledon  Fire Engine Cubbie

For our full range of inclusive play equipment please contact us

Springers

Springers have moved on a great deal and now provide seating and handles where children can help themselves by holding on or can be assisted by parents or carers and are the perfect way for those less able to develop a sense of balance and to train gross motor skills, they also encourage social play while stimulating the imagination and provide children with a strong sense of cause and effect.

We provide a range of springers  which can be used by one child or a group of children, coming in a wide range of themes from wildlife to farm animal’s sea life to cars and motor cycles whatever theme you can think of we can provide, which is why this simple piece of equipment is so exciting as it not only supplies a child with hours of fun but also it provides aesthetical shapes colours and texture and can bring a scheme to life , we try to incorporate a springer or two into most of our designs as children of all ages and abilities seem to adore them and they are cost effective if ones budget is small.

 Rabbit springer

Rabbit springer

 Motorbike with sidecar for two children

Motorbike with sidecar for two children

 Foal springer for two children    

Foal springer for two children    

 Seagull for a seaside theme

Seagull for a seaside theme

For our full range of inclusive play equipment please contact us

Basket swings

Basket swings are my absolute favourite children can play and swing on their own or this can be used as a group activity, while using their own body weight to create momentum this exciting piece of equipment encourages small groups of children to work together in a creative way to reach dizzy heights, caregivers also often enjoy this swing with their youngest of charges, it is a great way to introduce young children to the joy of a swing but it also encourages participation from children who are less able or who have special needs.

 A group of children bundled together on one of our basket swings.

A group of children bundled together on one of our basket swings.

 Basket swings are undiably popular pieces of playground equipment, I think this child's face says it all.

Basket swings are undiably popular pieces of playground equipment, I think this child's face says it all.

 My grandson and friends enjoying their new basket swing

My grandson and friends enjoying their new basket swing

 Robinia framed basket swing.

Robinia framed basket swing.

Mini Basket Swing

Mini basket swing A more compact offering suitable for children aged 2+ years.

 

Quest Velocity Basket Swing

With its unique design and eye-catching curves the Quest Velocity basket swing comes with a 1.2m diameter basket with a padded steel ring. Designed for children of all ages and abilities, from several young children and those with special needs, through to boisterous teenagers looking for more adventurous play.

quest-velocity-basket-swing.jpg
minibasket swing.jpg

For our full range of inclusive play equipment please contact us

Inclusive roundabouts

I don’t know of any child that doesn’t appreciate a roundabout, the exhilaration that is experienced when that child is being transported around like a whirlwind! Our exclusive roundabouts are DDA compliant and are made in such a way that wheelchairs users and those less able can access the roundabout without having to step up onto a platform. No different from any other roundabout just friendly in terms of being easy to get on and off, perhaps this may also come in handy for parents!

 

Mant Leisure Ltd's DDA Compliant Inclusive Roundabout

At Mant Leisure Ltd we provide our very own DDA compliant roundabout which provides a safe place for all children to play as well as wheelchair users due to its easy access.

The unit is provided with a non-slip deck which is flush to the ground offering good foot grip and for keeping wheelchairs in the correct position while spinning.

 
 

Accessible and inclusive roundabouts

When we think about roundabouts we think of it in its most traditional form but now there are lots of alternatives which are friendly in terms of accessibility and inclusiveness and can make for the most fun for children with disabilities and their carers. 


The other important factor can be space and both the spinning disk roundabout and inclusive dish roundabout can be introduced as a large piece of equipment instead of a traditional roundabout.  

We can also have smaller inclusive dish roundabouts and disks made which can be used if budgets are tight.  Often old roundabouts are not DDA compliant and removing them can involve a great deal of time and money,  the addition of a smaller unit in the same area that is DDA compliant means those with disabilities can still be involved in interactive play with others, while funding is carried out for more up to date methods of play.

 flat roundabout for playground
 Dish roundabout for playground
 

Interested in inclusive play equipment? Contact us to find out about our full range.