This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Why Inclusive Play Is Important
I remember the painful thoughts that ran through my mind when Aidan was diagnosed with Autism, and then again when Lilly’s diagnosis and weak muscle strength began. Would they be able to make friends and participate in play? Would they be able to ride a bike? Would they be able to play with other kids? These are questions I never imagined thinking about with my oldest son, but they are the never-ending thoughts a parent of children with disabilities has. When Anthony was a preschooler, I didn’t think twice about spending an afternoon at the playground or think twice about the play equipment, however, when the twins were that age I suddenly needed to think about play structures in an entirely new way. Which is what makes Landscape Structures Inclusive playgrounds so special to my heart.
Landscape Structures Inclusive Playgrounds
Kids learn so many life skills on the playground and the foundation of those skills begins at an early age so it is extremely important for children of all abilities to participate in an inclusive play space. Inclusive Play is not just focusing on accessibility, it brings age, developmental appropriateness, and sensory-stimulating activity into the equation which results in social equity and increasingly diverse social communities.
Lilly’s muscle tone has improved after years of hard work and physical therapy and Aidan’s Autism is high functioning, however I truly believe that the social skills they have now has a lot to do with the inclusive play that they had available throughout the years and now we continue to spend out playground time at Inclusive Playgrounds because I want them to always understand that everyone is made different and beautiful and deserves to be included.
3 Important Life Lessons Children Learn on the Playground
Kids learn how to make friendships by working together and helping one another.
The first place my children made friends, outside of the family, was on the playground. There is something heartwarming about a child being able to run onto the playground and within the blink of an eye, they are jumping around with a group of kids. They help each other and encourage each other to cross the monkey bars or face their fears and go down the high slide. Children learn that working together will make the see-saw work and build sandbox villages faster. They learn that climbing as high as you can is a lot more fun with someone to enjoy the view with.
Kids learn to use their imaginations and collaborate with each other.
The play structure becomes a pirate ship and the slide is a plank into the alligator waters. The climbing dome is a princess castle that is protected by magic. They learn to use their imaginations together and create some amazing play time as each child adds a different aspect to the story.
Kids learn to be leaders and make decisions while celebrating each other.
As they play children learn to make decisions for themselves, which leads them to become leaders and builds their confidence. From deciding who is going to be the captain of the ship to figuring out who is going down the slides together, decisions are made and leaders are built.
Children learn so much on the playground! Landscape Structures believes that through inclusive play, kids learn life lessons such as leadership, persistence, support, and empathy. Which I also believe wholeheartedly making Inclusive Playgrounds so important.
Find an Inclusive Playground Near You
October is Sensory Awareness Month! So why not head to a great Inclusive Playground today? One of our favorite Landscape Structures Inclusive playgrounds is Sims Park in New Port Richey when we are close to home. We also love to stop at Common Ground Park in Lakeland as a car break on our drives over to Orlando. Want to find an Inclusive Playground close to you? Visit the Landscape Structures site and search for the playground that fits your needs!