What makes Jumpstart playgrounds inclusive?

Playground features and elements that foster inclusion and fun.

By: Jumpstart Staff

May 24, 2022

When you arrive at a Jumpstart Inclusive Playground, the first thing you may think to yourself is... where do I play first? You may be pulled towards our Sensory Play Centre or if you’re up for a challenge, head over to our Netplex Climber! With so much to choose from at a Jumpstart Inclusive Playground, we know that wherever you start, you will have fun! 

With National AccessAbility Week coming up at the end of May, we want to share a bit about Jumpstart’s Inclusive Playgrounds — play spaces that welcome kids of all abilities to play together. To ensure there’s something for everyone, Jumpstart worked closely with a global leader in inclusive playground design, Landscape Structures Inc., to ensure our playgrounds were equipped with fun, engaging, and inclusive play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities. While each piece of equipment brings an exciting opportunity for every child, they also incorporate many accessible design features, giving children with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities an environment that promotes well-being and collaborative play. 

Today, we’re going to highlight some of our key playground features and pieces of equipment. Two of our personal favourite play pieces are the Sway Fun Glider and the Roller Slide with Transfer Bench. 

A photo of the Sway Fun Glider at the Jumpstart Inclusive Playground in Toronto, ON.

Sway Fun Glider

With little effort from its riders, the Sway Fun glides back and forth in a smooth rocking motion. The middle table inside the Sway Fun is offset to create ample space for children using mobility devices to actively take part in creating movement! 

Fun fact: The Sway Fun is also a phenomenal intergenerational play element! It welcomes riders from birth to retirement and beyond! 

Roller Slide with Transfer Bench

Our Roller Slide with Transfer Bench is an exciting piece of play equipment that provides children with a fun sensory sliding experience. With its wide frame, the roller slide allows for children to slide alone or with a friend, parent or even service animal! The rollers themselves allow for children with sensory processing disorders to experience therapeutic sensory integration which helps them identify where their bodies are in space. The transfer bench at the end of the slide provides riders with a place to off-load, rest, and transfer back into a mobility device should they require.

Fun fact: The gaps between the coated steel rollers also break up static electricity which allows children with cochlear implant hearing aid devices to safely slide without fear of static electricity damaging their device!

Two kids slide down the Roller Slide with Transfer Bench at the Jumpstart Inclusive Playground in Whitehorse, YT.
A photo of the Jumpstart Inclusive Playground in Calgary, AB showing the double-wide ramps and seamless surfacing.

Other unique features of our playgrounds include our double-wide ramps and unitary pour-in-place rubber surfacing. The ramps provide ample room for children of all abilities to experience parallel play as they explore the structure. With space to pivot and change direction as desired, these ramps provide a generous path for all users. Meanwhile – off the structure – our surfacing allows for barrier-free movement throughout the rest of the playground while the high colour contrast between the two act to support the experience of those with visual impairments.

Over the past two years, our playgrounds have become more important than ever. During extended periods of isolation, Jumpstart Playgrounds have served as community hubs for families and children of all abilities to play, laugh, and come together outdoors. Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is proud to help bring inclusive play to communities across the country, and we look forward to continuing this journey together!

You can learn more about Jumpstart's commitment to inclusive play and find a Jumpstart Inclusive Playground near you on our Inclusive Play page!

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