What does inclusion mean to us on a playground?
Children and young people have always had different physical and mental conditions, depending on their age, physical constitution and any handicaps. Not all children and young people have always been able to use all the playground equipment to the maximum extent possible, and this is precisely where the incentive lies to be able to climb a little higher today or tomorrow than yesterday.
Children develop, and playgrounds are the original places where this can easily happen in a protected atmosphere. This development can happen in many ways, physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, alone and together with others. Playgrounds are places of encounter. In this catalogue, we present the special opportunities for development that each of our playground equipment offers. For this purpose, we have created a number of icons to give you a quick overview. Not every child will be able to use every piece of equipment, that has always been the case, but a truly inclusive playground is a place where every child should find something that offers a special personal incentive to play there alone or together with other children, to try out and develop. Ultimately, the attractiveness of a playground always lies in the personal “thrill” that a child feels, and this is not a question of age, strength, size, or handicap. Children are all different, and yet all the same.
The sense of hearing is targeted through a variety of offers such as our chimes, talking tube and other play equipment in the category of themed play.
This is deliberately about the sense of sight and eyes. Stimulation of the sense of sight is achieved by special optical stimuli such as our effect discs, distorting mirrors or even simple peepholes and portholes. Optical illusions also meet these requirements.
The skin is our largest sensory organ. This is about passively feeling, for example, the covering of the skin with sand or water, even at different temperatures.
To enable a targeted invitation to perceive the offered environment through touch. The sense of touch can be addressed, for example, by deliberately arranging different materials in different thicknesses and surface structures.
Fine motor skills are another aspect of sensory perception and are influenced and addressed by very different play options depending on the child‘s abilities. Examples are steering wheels, sand lifts, small diverse play walls, and much more.
Under balance, the sense of equilibrium should be specifically addressed. This can be done by balancing with different degrees of difficulty (different widths, slopes, surfaces, materials, heights, balancing beams, ropes, wobbly bridges, ramps) but also by seesawing, jumping, wobbling and hopping.
The interaction of different sensory organs and physical motor skills for a goal-oriented sequence of movements is understood as coordination. Climbing, horizontal bars at different heights, elements for shimmying but also stairs, ramps, ladders, stair-like ascents as well as jumping and turning games influence the development of coordination.
The movement experience of speed, acceleration and deceleration is mostly created by ropeways, slides, merry-go-rounds and swings, but also, for example, by so-called fireman‘s slides.
A height experience specifically clarifies the perception of different heights, e.g. looking down on something from above, clearly beyond the measure of eye heights. Climbing equipment, towers, viewing platforms and swings particularly address this perception.
Communication is primarily understood as being areas to stay at, that with a quality of stay that specifically promote communication between users and invite them to linger. This can be achieved, for example, through seating, resting and lounging areas or seating-table combinations.
Self-awareness is understood to have two main aspects: firstly, the user should be able to perceive what influence he or she and his or her actions have on his or her environment, as is the case with physical experiences where, for example, different quantities can be formed or grasped when playing with sand and water, and size and quantity comparisons can also be made. Secondly, this can be implemented by increasing abilities and skills through different offers with similar movement sequences and different risks (e.g. balancing / climbing elements in different heights, widths and challenging degrees of difficulty - dealing with risk generates decision-making competence.
Under group play, joint activities should be encouraged, promoted and supported. Suggestions for joint role play (playhouse combination) or a water-mud play area support this type of interaction form but in principle every climbing equipment with enough space for several children.
Parallel play does not involve playing directly with each other but rather side by side independently from each other. Examples of equipment would be a set of pull-up bars or the classic sandbox.
Individual activities, promoted, encouraged or supported by play opportunities - that means individual play. Especially for users who need a secure play environment. Self-awareness should be enabled and enhanced, experiences should be made possible and promoted, and the user should feel and develop himself and his body, his senses. This can be achieved, for example, through all kinds of natural / designed retreats such as playhouses, tunnels or crawl tubes, but also through games of skill and landscaping of the playground.
Meetings are encouraged through landscaping or bridges, tunnels, double cable rides etc.
Drama or role play is an imaginative game in which children re-enact situations they have experienced or observed. The children slip into a different role and pretend. Drama play is further supported by appropriate stages, platforms or balconies.
The fixed movement sequences of the slide, carousel & co. do something predefined and constantly repetitive with the users. You could also say that the users know what is about to happen. The understanding of loops is reinforced.
The focus here is on stimulating learning. Users can acquire knowledge about physical laws (gravity or centrifugal force) or technical skills in dealing with special play elements (Archimedes‘ screw) in a playful way.
Space for play and movement is becoming increasingly scarce in our cities and municipalities. It is therefore important that play and exercise areas are planned in a timely and attractive manner so that they can be maintained in the long term. They should be planned in a family-friendly way, meet the needs of the users and, of course, be safe. Kaiser & Kühne is your contact for premium playground equipment with high quality standards and safety with durable products. Kaiser & Kühne – PREMIUM PLAYGROUNDS