Play is Essential to Life – So Why Not Include Everyone?


Play is essential to life so why not include everyone?


Playgrounds and outdoor spaces should provide a sense of belonging and safety no matter the age, ability, or background. The playground is a place where people can go outside, be themselves, and use play and physical activity as a healthy outlet to express themselves - all while learning, expanding, and developing healthy habits and skills - that effect every aspect of their lives.


Providing a place where everyone can come together and play is vital to the whole human population. The sectors - rather it be a portion of a town, housing community, a local bible group, a school community, or people coming together that share similar interests or a common goal – all benefit from having a playground. The playground provides a space where everyone can participate and feel included; they contribute to the overall connection individuals have to the group and also connect members within the group. This offers a place where bonds and relationships can form, foster a sense of belonging, and also challenge individuals to grow and sharpen their skills – socially, mentally, and physically.


Not only is having an inclusive playground beneficial for groups as a whole but it is also highly beneficial for the individuals. Play effects all aspects of human life – health and quality of life, relationships, self-fulfillment / self-actualization , management and regulation of emotions and stress, and growth….

The list goes on! Proving play is essential to human life - and that means play is essential to EVERYONE.


Inclusion and the benefits of play do not and should not end at the playground…

Parks for example have the ability to include ADA features such as accessible routes so everyone can mobilize in the area AND utilize ADA site furnishings such as ADA tables - so everyone can have a spot at the table. In addition, parks have the ability to provide areas where people with common interests can come together and socially engage - such as fitness areas, bird watching stations, pet parks, splash pads, signs containing literature on local wildlife and plant life, gardens…


It is up to us to set the stage for success in the lives in which we effect. But we must be intentional with our choices, designs, and the goals we want to reach.


We can build strong communities.

We can foster a sense of belonging and community.

We can contribute to the success of individuals.

We can help relationships form and grow.

We can provide healthy outlets.

We can strengthen the love for outdoors and/ or physical activity.

We can do THIS - TOGETHER.