Discover how Inclusive Playgrounds Improve Physical Activity for Children with Disabilities.

Unlock Limitless Fun With Accessible Playground Equipment

As a playground owner, you know that it is important to ensure that your playground equipment is accessible to all of the children who wish to play there. You may have fond memories of playing on the playground as a child and wish to provide that opportunity to all. For park owners looking to update their playground or facilities, you may also know that there are certain requirements you must meet to remain ADA compliant. These are all reasons why it is important for you to understand what goes into accessible playground equipment.

What is accessible playground equipment?

Accessible playground equipment is designed to ensure that children of all abilities can play and interact together. It typically includes features such as ramps, wide pathways, and equipment that is easy to reach and use for children with mobility challenges. Accessible playgrounds offer a number of benefits for children with disabilities, including:

Increased physical activity

Children with disabilities are more likely to be physically active when they have access to playgrounds that are designed for their needs. This is important for their overall health and well-being.

Improved social skills

Accessible playground equipment provides opportunities for children with disabilities to interact with their peers in a safe and supportive environment. This can help them to develop social skills and make friends.

Increased self-esteem

When children with disabilities are able to play on the same equipment as their peers, it can help them to feel more confident and capable. This can lead to increased self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.


Accessible playgrounds help to promote inclusion by creating a space where children of all abilities can play together. This can help to break down barriers and foster a more welcoming and inclusive community. In addition to the benefits for children with disabilities, accessible playgrounds also benefit the entire community. They send a message that all children are welcome and valued, and they can help to create a more inclusive and compassionate society.

What playground surfaces are ADA compliant?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) establishes guidelines for the design and construction of accessible playgrounds. When you are updating playground equipment to make it more accessible, it is important to know about the surfaces that you can use to comply with this act. According to the ADA, playground surfaces must be:

  • Firm and stable: The surface should be level and free of tripping hazards or loose materials.
  • Accessible to children of all abilities: The surface should be easy to traverse for children with mobility challenges, such as those using wheelchairs or walkers.
  • Slip-resistant: The surface should not be slippery, even when wet.

Common playground surfaces that meet ADA requirements include:

Rubberized surfacing

Rubberized surfacing is a popular choice for accessible playgrounds because it is soft, durable, and slip-resistant. It can be installed in a variety of colors and patterns, and it is relatively easy to maintain.

Poured-in-place surfacing

Poured-in-place surfacing is another good option for accessible playgrounds. It is a seamless surface that is made by mixing rubber granules with a binder and pouring it onto the playground area. Poured-in-place surfacing is durable, slip-resistant, and easy to maintain.

Artificial turf

Artificial turf is a good choice for playgrounds in areas with warm climates. It is a durable surface that is easy to maintain and does not require watering. However, artificial turf can be expensive to install and can become hot in the summer months.

When choosing a playground surface, it is important to consider the specific needs of the children who will be using the playground equipment. Some children may require a surface that is softer or more slip-resistant than others. It is also important to consider the climate and budget when making a decision.

What characteristics does accessible playground equipment need to encourage sensory development?

In addition to being compliant, accessible playgrounds should incorporate a variety of elements that stimulate the senses and encourage sensory development in children of all abilities. Here are some key characteristics to consider:

Visual stimulation

Incorporate bright colors, contrasting patterns, and interesting textures to engage children's vision. This can be achieved through the use of colorful playground equipment, sensory walls, and interactive panels.

Auditory stimulation

Include elements that produce a variety of sounds, such as musical instruments, chimes, and bells. This can help to develop auditory awareness and discrimination skills.

Tactile stimulation

Provide opportunities for children to explore different textures through touch. This can be done through the use of textured surfaces, sand and water play areas, and nature-based materials such as leaves and rocks.

Proprioceptive stimulation

Incorporate activities that challenge children's sense of body awareness and spatial orientation. This can be achieved through the use of climbing structures, balance beams, and other movement-based equipment.

Vestibular stimulation

Include elements that provide vestibular input, such as swings, spinners, and rocking chairs. This can help to develop balance and coordination skills.

By incorporating these sensory elements into accessible playgrounds, children of all abilities can engage their senses and develop important sensory processing skills. This can contribute to their overall development and learning. At ParkZapp, we know how important it is for you to keep your playground equipment safe and compliant. That's why we designed an app to help you make your park inspections more efficient and effective. Schedule a consultation today if you would like to learn more about how ParkZapp can save you time.

Explore Inclusive Play with Accessible Playground Equipment.
Discover Endless Joy with Inclusive Playground Equipment