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Define: Social Play (Principles of Inclusive Playground Design)

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Principles of Inclusive Playground Design: Social Play

Playcore and the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities developed a list of 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design. One of the 7 Principles that we consider when creating a playground design is No. 6 - BE ACTIVE which includes SOCIAL PLAY PLANNING.

When designing for inclusive playgrounds the designers at Struthers Recreation constantly examine their plans for adherence to the 7 principles because they understand how important it is to produce an #inclusiveplaygrounddesign. Not only is it important for the children who will be playing, it is also important to think of the caregivers who bring their children to the park. The 7 Principles guide many design ideas so that everyone can play.


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The Seven Principles of Inclusive Playground Design

1. Be Fair

Create Equitable Opportunities
  • Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Communication
  • Social/Emotional
  • Sensory


2. Be Included

Access Flexibility
  • Ramps
  • Climbers
  • Links
  • Transfer Platforms


3. Be Smart

Simple and Intuitive Design
  • Behavioral Clues
  • Sensory Feedback
  • Well Organized
  • Reinforce Play Patterns
  • Set Clear Expectations


4. Be Independent

Individual Exploration
  • Accessible Surfaces
  • Accessible Routes of Travel
  • Slide Transfers


5. Be Safe

Safety Standards and Comfort Areas
  • Comfortable Supervision Areas
  • Clear Visibility
  • Cozy Spots
  • Jump-In Points


6. Be Active

Accommodate Diverse Needs
  • Sustained Physical Activity
  • Cooperation
  • Socialization


7. Be Comfortable

Space for Movement and Gathering
  • Comfortable for Diverse Sensory Needs
  • Comfortable Approach and Reach
  • Environmental Relief




When you envision your inclusive playground from Struthers Recreation let us know that you would like to boost SOCIAL PLAY in your design!

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