Connect with self - steps
We all need time to interact with the world, and also time to be quiet and connect with ourselves. Inclusive playspaces can help children of all abilities connect with their physical selves and understand their unique inner world. The right setting can challenge them to go beyond limitations and spark a little bit of creative magic from within.
Consider the following ideas to help people connect with themselves in your playspace.
1. To begin with, help children connect to their senses.
Are there a variety of experiences to activate each sense?
2. The greatest power can come from within — unleash their imagination.
Is there unstructured play? Are there hidden stories to find? Are there loose materials for making things?
3. Children who challenge themselves can discover their potential.
Are there challenges for a range of ages and abilities?
4. And remember to make people feel significant.
Are there unique places for solo play? Is there something different and memorable?
Why inclusive play is important to me
“My twin sons, Rhys and Nate, both have autism. They have a special connection; I often say they are like yin and yang to each other. Rhys is non-verbal and is a sensory avoider while Nate use key words to say what he needs and is a sensory seeker.
Rhys and Nate don’t have any awareness of danger and they have long, fast legs. One of Rhys’s favourite games is to run away, so we can only go to a playground if it has a secure fence.
They are both physically very capable so it is nice to see them play on equipment that can physically challenge them. Sensory play is also important. Nate loves exploring and feeling different textures or playing with moving parts like noughts and crosses. Sometimes Rhys needs to be alone so he will go and sit in a tunnel or make a cubby under a slide.
I hope to see more inclusive playgrounds in Adelaide. We usually choose to stay home because there aren’t any suitable playgrounds near us where it is safe for Rhys and Nate to play.”
Jessica and her sons Rhys and Nate