INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND DESIGNS | AMICO RANGE
SOCIAL / EMOTIONAL - For play to be truly inclusive, children need to be socially included. As children play together, they learn to cooperate, take turns, and engage in meaningful dramatic and imaginative play experiences that create lifelong memories. Providing places for children to feel emotionally secure allows them to belong and choose how and when to engage in play.
PHYSICAL - All children need opportunities to be physically active through play. Play environments that provide a variety of developmentally appropriate activities offer healthy risk, and challenge children of all abilities, create places where everyone wants to play.
SENSORY - Play is the most meaningful in sensory-rich environments that encourage discovery and exploration. Sensory play through tactile, visual, auditory, smells and tastes, vestibular and proprioceptive experiences help children understand the world around them.
COGNITIVE - Children learn through play and interacting with the people and world around them. Supporting intuitive play behaviours that stimulate development can help keep children engaged in meaningful play for longer periods of time. Opportunities for children to problem solve, think abstractly, and develop cause and effect skills help provide unique hands on opportunities to bring learning outside.
COMMUNICATION - Playgrounds can support the development of receptive and expressive language, allowing children to demonstrate what they know and express themselves. Language development occurs through natural play behaviours and routines and is enhanced through developmentally appropriate play elements, loose parts, and outdoor programming.
To develop exciting and inclusive play products, we worked together with a group of experts: from play workers to teachers at schools for visually impaired children and from hearing impairment to special needs physiotherapists. Local schools and hospitals were involved in testing the products.
This co-operation has previously helped to develop the fun4all range of inclusive stand-alone products and it has now resulted in the new Amico range of play equipment.
We have learnt that focusing on disabilities leads to products that are not inclusive. Experts and children have taught us to focus on abilities rather than impairments.
Because every child has a unique set of capabilities, we have created challenges on various levels within our Amico products. By doing so children of all abilities will be able to play together on and around the equipment.
The products have a variety of access possibilities: from transfer stations for wheelchair users to challenging climbs along vertical posts and nets. The equipment offers sensory as well as physical play opportunities. Amico has features that help children to socialise and play together, but it also has areas where they can relax and retreat.
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