What makes an inclusive playground, “inclusive”?

So you’ve heard the term “inclusive playground”, but what does that actually mean?

Accessible playgrounds are on the rise around the world but accessible does not necessarily mean inclusive. It is however a part of the design process for making a playground truly inclusive.

Harper’s Playground’s are designed through three levels of radically inclusive design. First, they are physically inviting by being accessible and adaptive. Accessible means smooth surfacing throughout the entire space that ensures everyone can get everywhere and to everything. Adaptive site features are designed to be approachable and usable by the widest possible array of users with different abilities. This ensures it’s worth getting to those things.

The second element of our design principles in creating an inclusive playground is to make it socially inviting. We do this by creating communal gathering spaces by way of circular seating and flexible use areas that ensure people mingle and get to know each other. We also employ the use of natural materials and forms to ensure everyone gets that good energy that nature provides and can be creative in how they engage in the space.

The third level of radically inclusive design is to create a space that is emotionally inviting. Not only do we want our parks to be a place where people can play, we want them to be beautiful and have a flow that ensures an inviting space. Bronze sculptures and the use of musical equipment inspire a story where people are invited to use their imaginations. Thoughtful placement and details show how much we really care.

The vital importance of play in human development is the foundation of why all of us at Harper’s Playground advocate for better playgrounds and play spaces – for everybody. What truly make our playgrounds magic is that they draw the widest variety of people that connect and make community together through play.

Want to learn more or build an inclusive playground of your own? Download our FREE How-To Manual or attend a How-To Workshop.

You can also make a donation to help us create a more inclusive world.