Showcased in Recreation Management
Spraygrounds have gained in popularity over the past couple of decades, providing water fun on hot summer days. And with many park and recreation organizations aiming to expand their amenities to provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, it’s good to know that creating an inclusive splash pad experience can be simple.
Q: WE ARE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO PROVIDE PLAY EXPERIENCES FOR PEOPLE OF ALL ABILITIES AND AGES. WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW?
A: Spraygrounds typically include an abundance of inclusive opportunities. Most play pieces on the sprayground are designed with plenty of room to provide access to those with mobility devices, and age-appropriate zones will ensure everyone can enjoy the experience. What’s more, spraygrounds deliver a variety of sensory experiences, providing developmental benefits for children with physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as those without disabilities.
First, for ages 2 to 4, you should include a zone with gentle activity, with bubblers and other more delicate ground sprays. Place this zone near the perimeter to allow for adult supervision.
Next, add a universal zone that provides activities for the whole family. Ground sprays and structures can be centrally located to create a transitional area between the gentle and dynamic zones. Finally, the dynamic zone for ages 7+ should feature a variety of highly interactive spray features.
Q: HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE PEOPLE OF ALL ABILITIES TO PLAY TOGETHER ON THE SPRAYGROUND?
A: Interactive water play provides opportunities for children of all ages and abilities to engage with one another. Water tables, for example, allow kids to socialize as they explore cause and effect—a perfect way for everyone to play together. Parents, grandparents and caregivers will also enjoy getting in on the action.
Don’t forget to ensure that the site can easily be accessed by people of all abilities. Placing the sprayground near parking, restrooms and other accessible amenities will encourage everyone to enjoy the sprayground together.See Rec Management Article