be for children, designed with the needs and desires of children first.
To put the needs of children first in playground design seems to be a
simplistic approach, but too often the desires and conveniences of adults
drives the design of playgrounds.
In play, children explore their environment within the boundaries and
limitations of their physical capabilities. There are over 1,000
special needs residents in Portage County who have never been able to freely
enjoy a playground. Although Portage County is home to many beautiful
parks and playgrounds, there isn't a single playground for children with
Not only do these children miss the thrill of wind in their hair while on a
swing, they also are missing out on the common interactions every child
should have. Even if they can make it to the playground, current
structures will never allow them to move as freely as the other children.
Playing with the other kids doesn't mean sitting on the sidelines,
watching. We want to build a structure that every kid can use and
enjoy, whether they move around on two legs or four wheels.
Navigating a playground is anything but child's play for a special needs
child. Woodchips and gravel may soften a child's fall, but they are
also impossible for children in wheelchairs and on crutches to
navigate. Sandboxes are too low, monkey bars are too high, and slides
and stairs make it nearly impossible to try alone.
Don't believe it could be that bad? Imagine going through your day
strapped to your office chair, and see how your perspective changes!