Park life

We’re sitting in yet another park. The story of any parents life. The sad thing is we’re sitting watching with Quinns. Big sister can go and explore any of the play equipment but he can’t.

This park we’re in claims to be inclusive but we’re struggling to see anything that Quinns can go on or explore even with a bit of help. I want to know who thought the chosen pieces of equipment were suitable for everyone?

I know he’s physically very unable but he’s still a small child looking for experiences. Is it too much to ask that there be something for him? Would you accept that for your child?

I’ve already said that Quinns loves a swing. So yes he can go on a baby swing if (a) we’ve brought the GoTo seat with us and (b) he doesn’t keep growing. Also it’s a bit of a solitary activity. For my extremely cognitively able child it’s more about the social aspect than the physical one.

We recently visited a pretty good park. We took the hour long drive because we’d heard this newly opened park was good for wheelchair users and I’m keen to explore what works and what doesn’t work for Quinns.

You may have seen wheelchair accessible swings. I think they are great. They bring joy to wheelchair users of all ages. But they’re bulky, expensive and also pretty exclusionary with a fence around them. This one needed a radar key (more about them later) and only allowed one person beside the swing with Quinns.

The best piece of equipment by far was a wheelchair accessible roundabout. It had space for the Bug, seats & standing room. It meant that after we’d put Quinns onto the roundabout he was right in the middle of things. He was with other children & they were able to spin it so we could stand back.

Quinns & Big Sister on a wheelchair accessible roundabout with another little boy pushing it round

That seems like the ideal to me. It doesn’t take up too much space even in the smallest of parks and it’s something all children no matter what their ability can enjoy together. I’d really like to see one in every park!

Have you spotted any great equipment in a play park? Next time you’re in a park take another look at how the equipment is being used and consider how inclusive it is.

5 thoughts on “Park life

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