it is making new space, a better space for everyone.
Parks and playgrounds are places for visitors to engage and connect with one another and their environment. However, if poorly designed, some visitors may have trouble accessing equipment and leave the play area feeling frustrated and excluded. Understanding the vast range of people's physical and cognitive abilities can help landscape architects, designers, and builders create engaging and exciting spaces for all by building more inclusive play spaces.
Inclusive playgrounds are intended to remove physical and social barriers to participation through designs that provide an environment where visitors can play together using the same equipment. Collaborative play on shared equipment is satisfying and engaging. Strengthening minds, bodies, and social bonds is what play is all about, after all!
But inclusive play isn't just about creating access for physically or cognitively challenged visitors. The idea of wholesome and engaging play also considers intergenerational play. For example, more parks and play areas are now installing equipment for the elderly to play and engage safely alongside younger park goers.
The health benefits of exercise for elders are many and well known. Play for the elderly reduces the risk of strokes, heart disease, and some cancers, lessens cognitive decline, and controls obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Likewise, younger children benefit by using intergenerational play to dispel negative stereotypes and bond with the elderly. It also helps children understand aging, fosters empathy, and may fill a social gap for children lacking grandparents or other seniors in their families.
InCord believes in the emotional and physical healing power of play. As such, we are proud to offer a variety of trusted play elements with a strong focus on safety. Our barrier nets and fencing provide environmental protection and aesthetics, and custom play structures bring the fun while remaining focused on safety as a top priority.
We custom-craft a range of play elements, including bridges, tunnels, climbers, and more, using steel-core Netform™ ropes that withstand even the most rigorous play. We also provide wheelchair-accessible play pieces, including the Freedom Glider and the Rolli.
Interactive elements for wheelchair users are imperative to a well-rounded park or playground design. The Freedom Glider offers wheelchair users a chance to self-propel, which provides a more independent play experience. This swing is suitable for wheelchairs of all sizes, can be operated independently, and comes in various color options to fit in any park or play area.
The Rolli is an in-ground, wheelchair-accessible bouncer with ample room for a wheelchair and a caretaker to share the flexible mat and bounce together. Bouncing is proven to maintain/build core strength and enhance coordination, which is associated with improved neurological development. From a sensory perspective, in-ground trampolines also have tremendous benefits for those with limited mobility, as sitting or lying on the trampoline will still produce movement that mimics a floating sensation. This type of stimulation is also incredibly beneficial for children on the autism spectrum and beyond.
Making parks and play areas accessible and engaging to visitors of all ages and abilities strengthens community and familial bonds. In addition, play areas provide a space for children to advance their imagination, self-awareness, risk perception, and identity, as well as their social and motor skills. These elements combine to create a strengthened, safer space and thus a more connected and thriving community.
InCord and NetPlay USA can help make any play space more inclusive. Contact our play experts today to learn more about enhancing your park or playground to include more people of all abilities today.
InCord manufactures custom safety netting solutions for a range of industries. Our woman-owned Colchester, CT manufacturing plant is an ISO-9001 certified facility, housing a team ready to design and fabricate a unique netting solution to fit your needs. InCord was founded in 1995 and is a Connecticut Top Workplace. To discuss an application, request a quote, or obtain technical guidance, please call us at (860) 537-1414, submit a request here, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.