An all-inclusive playground which caters for the needs of children of all abilities has been provided by Wicklow County Council in collaboration with the ‘Greystones South Beach Playground’ committee. T
The design of the playground equipment includes a musical play area, an ability swing, a sensory path, a toddler play area, a wheelchair-accessible sand factory, zip lines and a large activity set. This playground is designed for children to be together, play together and learn together.
Important to the playground committee and Wicklow County Council was that the design considered both visible and invisible disabilities and additional needs, autism spectrum, mobility issues, hearing and visually impairments children and motor coordination difficulties.
The playground doesn’t look like a ‘special needs’ playground, in fact, it doesn’t look different in any way, but inside, you’ll see a different picture. ‘This means a see-saw that can accommodate groups of children sitting, standing or even lying down, so regardless of a child’s core or leg strength, all children can play together on this see-saw. The wheelchair swing is next to all the other swings, so regardless of abilities or age everybody is in the same area swinging together. The sandpit allows wheelchairs to be in the middle of all the fun, not on the outside looking in.’
The musical area is the first of its kind in Ireland. It consists of hand-crafted, pitch perfect, percussion instruments which will allow everyone from children to adults to express themselves and communicate together through the magic of music. The cosy cocoon can be a seat in a rocket ship, or a safe place where a child on the autism spectrum can rest their senses until they are ready to join their peers again.
Some of the playground’s highlights include the wheelchair swing, a sensory path and musical play area, toddler play areas, a wheelchair-accessible sand factory, a large activity set with climbing frames and tube slides, swings, ziplines, and a ball court complete with basketball hoops and a football goal.
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