de you with indispensable advice, there are several key things you can make notes on first to help you identify and address potential weak areas:
One of the simplest playground upgrades doesn’t require any new play equipment at all! Resurfacing your play area with a protective shock-absorbing surface will make your playground safer for those little falls and stumbles. Sometimes referred to as “undersurfacing”, surfaces deemed safe by Australian Standards range from mulch, rubber, synthetic turf to sand. If you have a smaller budget you can still install rubber landing pads in key areas.
When upgrading your playground you should also consider zoning. Zones refer to the discrete spaces within your playground that cater to different ages and abilities. This might mean a designated area for children with audio-visual disabilities or another area for early development. Zones encourage children of diverse abilities and ages to play together and should be easily found by orienting pathways.
Speaking of orientating pathways leads to accessibility. Like surfacing and zones, a playground upgrade can be more about ancillary works than actual play equipment. Ensuring there are safe accessible routes to and through your playground is essential to making it an accessible space for everyone. Consider wheelchair users and different abilities when developing on your upgrade.
Similarly, a fence may not seem like much, but it can actually provide a lot of peace of mind to parents, small children and children on the autism spectrum who prefer secure spaces.
Cool play equipment
Regarding actual play equipment, think about which piece of play equipment is the “coolest” in your playground and aim to make it accessible to more diverse users. For example, you can add basketball rings for younger children and wheelchair users, or play units that feature multiple levels so all children can give it a try.
There are almost limitless playground equipment options available to choose from once you have the basics of correct surfacing, zoning, accessibility and fencing in place. Your inclusive playground upgrade can be as simple as adding ancillary works or incorporating one or two new activities that can be enjoyed by everyone.
To assess your needs, ask your playground supplier to provide you with a playground safety audit specifically for diverse abilities.