Inclusive SA

Connect with self - checklist

Activate the senses

What can children see?

  • Provide a rich visual experience – shapes, colour contrasts, patterns, mirrors
  • Reduce glare – don’t place reflective items in full sun
  • Have a consistent colour scheme to help define activity zones

What can children smell?

  • Landscape features – fragrant plants
  • Interactive/ educational – identify plants by smell

What can children taste?

  • Edible plants, fruit trees, vegetables, bush tucker (native edible plants)
  • Non-toxic materials – consider children may put things in their mouths

What can children feel?

  • Play elements with tactile parts – rough, smooth, prickly, furry, uneven
  • Access to natural elements – sand, water, mud, loose rocks, plants
  • Textured ground surfaces – feel vibration with pram/bike/wheelchair
  • Appropriate materials – consider some materials get hot in sun

What can children hear?

  • Musical play (bells, drums, chimes or xylophones)
  • Talk tubes (tubes through which children can talk to each other)
  • Plants that attract native birds
  • Quiet play retreat:
    • place to stop and listen (birds, wind, running water, leaves)
    • small, enclosed or hidden niche with seating
    • consider sound buffers to loud areas/roads

How can children move their bodies?

  • Whole body:
    • develop gross motor skills
    • balance, climb, slide, swing, spin, rock, jump
    • consider obstacle course or track for bike/scooter/wheelchair
  • Small scale:
    • develop fine motor skills
    • loose parts play, puzzles, building, sorting, drawing, etching


Does the playspace offer appropriate levels of challenge?

  • Range of challenges for children of different abilities (gross motor and fine motor)
  • Graduating challenges – easy to hard (to help build confidence)
  • Elements of uncertainty or unpredictability (to help children evaluate risk)
  • High structures which everyone can access by different routes varying in difficulty
  • Not just physical challenges – consider problem solving or memory games

“An area that provides a quiet retreat when overwhelmed by noise or sight of other people.”

Stimulate imagination

  • Are there open spaces with no equipment for unstructured play?
  • Can children connect with nature?
    • Access to nature – plants, trees, mud, rocks, water, logs, flowers, sticks, seeds
    • Encourage nature play – bug hunting, digging, gathering, constructing
  • Does the place tell a story?
    • Use interactive elements to tell stories that are unique to the site, surrounding area, culture, values, history
  • Is there themed equipment that encourages imagination play?
    • Stage/platform, amphitheatre, boat, race car, house, shops, animals
  • What makes the playspace unique?
    • Consider custom equipment or art to make the play experience special
  • Are there places to go exploring?
    • Maze, winding path, navigation, Braille trail, seek and find

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Provided by:
Department of Human Services
Last Updated:
12 Aug 2020
Printed on:
23 Sep 2023
The Inclusive SA website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016