Alice’s Playspace: Designing Play Equipment for Inclusive Playgrounds
Alice’s Playspace at Errington Reserve, St Albans, Victoria is perfect for big and little kids with different abilities and has different play areas and equipment appealing to a range of age groups. The park includes a themed ship play unit, slides, swings, trampolines, water play, flying fox and more. The landscape design mimics natural features like mountains and creeks with ‘bridges’ used to cross over to different parts of the play space.
When the play space was created several years ago, adventure+ was closely involved in supplying playground equipment throughout the play space, a result of a partnership between Brimbank City Council and the Touched by Olivia Foundation. The best thing about Alice’s Playspace is that it’s an inclusive playground open to children of different ages and abilities.
Governments are now recognising the importance of designing playgrounds that cater to children and people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities so that everyone is welcome. In 2018, the NSW State Government released a document titled Everyone Can Play – A Guideline to Create Inclusive Playspaces, a best practice toolkit for councils, community leaders, landscape architects and residents.
adventure+ supports these guidelines and works with many clients to make them a reality in play spaces. Having designed and supplied play equipment for over 35 years, we are experts at building imaginative and functional playgrounds that serve the needs of children, their carers and local communities.
The challenge was to position Alice’s Playspace as a key point where children of all abilities and ages can play together while carers watch or play with them. adventure+ designed accessible playground equipment that allowed all children to play together.
Engaging all five senses so children could enjoy sensory play is important to enjoyable play experiences. A range of materials was used in the play spaces, like mulch, rubber, sand, timber and water play to provide different textures in the play space.
The NSW government Everyone Can Play guidelines recommends that designs for inclusive playgrounds must answer these three questions:
- Can I get there?
- Can I play?
- Can I stay?
adventure+ helped create this inclusive space by designing the play equipment in the following ways:
- Customised boat structure that caters for all ages and abilities. Accessed by ramps makes it easy for both users with limited mobility and aged carers or parents. The boat theme also promotes imaginative play.
- Customised bridges gaps over dry creek beds.
- A range of other activities including swings, rockers, trampolines that provide a diverse range of equipment.
A whole host of other features were considered in this play space to make it an enjoyable space, including:
- Nearby car parking,
- Easy entry and exit points,
- Signage at the entry to create a sense of place and to help navigation,
- Landscaping and plantings that provide quiet and protected areas for rest and relaxation,
- Accessible points of access, including rubber and concrete surfaces,
- Formal enclosures through walls and fences to create a sense of safety,
- Seating, picnic tables, BBQs and toilets included nearby,
- Good balance between shade and well-lit areas,
- Landscaping makes the space comfortable and enjoyable to be in, and much more…
adventure+ is a specialist in creating customised playground equipment and supplying a wide range of play equipment for children of different ages and abilities. Our team will work with you to design a custom and inclusive space that’s engaging and fun for visitors. Call 1300 237 587 or email us with your inquiry.