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What Are the Benefits of Installing Children's Playground Equipment?
The Surgeon General reported in January 2010 that almost one in every three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Playground equipment gets children moving and having fun at the same time. Slides provide climbing exercise for the legs; bars exercise arms and shoulders; jungle gyms strengthen arms, legs and shoulders; and all the equipment together encourages children to run from one piece to another, giving them a healthy dose of cardiovascular, heart-healthy exercise.
Part of the appeal of playgrounds and playground equipment is that children get to be around one another. The Voice of Play website reports that both group interaction and social development take place on playground equipment in a number of ways: Children learn how to take turns and exercise self-control waiting for a swing to open up; they can observe each other on all the equipment; and they can strike up conversations with peers on the platforms, bridges and ramps of playground structures.
Playground equipment helps toddlers' brains develop, as they learn about the world through motor activities and sensory experiences, according to the Shasta report. It goes on to explain that brain development in the first six years of life is especially important, and that the more children exercise both their sensory and motor skills by using playground equipment, the more brain-neural connections they create.
INCLUSIVE PLAY IS...
...is a way of bridging the divide between mainstream and special needs children. Both groups can benefit from these play methods and learn a lot from mixing with those different to themselves. Children at all ages learn in all aspects of development through play: emotional, social, physical and mental.
The term inclusion began as a policy to ensure that all children regardless of ability are mainstreamed into classrooms and become part of their school community.Inclusion today is more widely thought of as a practice of ensuring that people feel they belong, are engaged, and connected. Therefore, inclusive playgrounds are ones designed specifically to ensure that children of multiple abilities can play together–not just along side each other.
INCLUSIVE PLAY IS NOT...
...is not just a playground for disabled children. In fact, Inclusive Play is designed to equally benefit both the challenged and the non-disabled.
An "ADA Compliant Playground" is often not as "accessible" as it sounds. This is a playground that meets all of the ADA guidelines for playgrounds. It does not mean that children with disabilities will be able to play on the playground; barriers may still exist. ADA compliant playgrounds are often NOT usable.
Parents tend to use the terms “Playgrounds for all Abilities” or “Playgrounds for children with disabilities”
"Handicapped Playgrounds", "Handicapped-Accessible Playgrounds", "Wheelchair Playgrounds" are outdated terms that most people do not use.