Inclusive Play: Why it is 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.
“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 FAVOURITES
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.