Playgrounds are rather ubiquitous in southeast Michigan. Every city has a few ranging from small neighborhood parks to sprawling community spaces. New federal regulations require that new playgrounds be ADA compliant, meaning accessible, but not necessarily inclusive. Accessible means that a person can move about freely with no barriers to movement, but inclusive play go beyond that, it INCLUDES every child in the activities. There are just a handful of Southeast Michigan inclusive Playgrounds.
There are several key elements to inclusive playgrounds, but it can be boiled down to 8 key elements.
1. Provide a variety of sensory-rich experiences where children can use a range of their sensory systems.
2. Identify the piece of equipment that is likely to be the most popular and ensure that it is accessible and usable for everyone.
3. Distinct barriers need to be present to define the play space. Fences are imperative to prevent children from running (or eloping).
4. Provide opportunities for children to engage in social play. And inclusive space encourages children to use their imagination and creativity through parallel and cooperative play experiences.
5. Ensure that all ages and abilities are challenged and engaged through multiple levels of play options.
6. Create zones of play that are welcoming to children of diverse abilities by having similar types of equipment located in proximity to one another.
7. Ensure travel routes are wide enough for wheelchair users to pass one another, transfer onto equipment, and that activities are within reach.
8. Provide unitary surfacing so all users can navigate easily.
Boundless™ Playgrounds are those that have been certified based on equipment configuration, surfacing and site access. Here are some great Southeast Michigan inclusive playgrounds.
Ann Arbor Inclusive Playgrounds
Boundless™ Playground at High Point School
1735 S. Wagner RoadAnn Arbor
Centennial Playground at Gallup Park Universal Access
3000 Fuller Rd, Ann Arbor
Commerce Township Inclusive Playgrounds
Scarlet’s Playground at Dodge Park in Commerce Township
180 Commerce Rd, Commerce Charter Twp, MI 48382
Scarlet’s Playground in Dodge Park in Commerce Township is one of the best playgrounds in Metro Detroit. The playgrounds is located within Dodge Park #5, a 106-acre park. The park features a playground, wooded paths, a water fountain, athletic fields, a pavilion as well as picnic tables and paved parking. The northern section of this park was once part of the State of Michigan parks donated by the Dodge family.
Detroit Inclusive Playgrounds
Dad Butler Playfield Boundless Playground™
2034 E. Eight Mile Road, Detroit
Delray Community Center Boundless™ Playground
420 S. Leigh Street, Detroit
Lake Orion Inclusive Playground
Let Them Play Playground at Friendship Park
2280 W. Clarkston Road, Lake Orion
Livonia Inclusive Playground
Rotary Park Universally Accessible
32300 Six Mile Road, Livonia
Northville Inclusive Playground
21200 Taft Road, Northville
Novi Inclusive Playground
Thornton Creek Elementary
46180 W 9 Mile Road, Novi
South Lyon Inclusive Playground
Hardy Elementary School
24650 Collingswood Road, South Lyon
Southfield Inclusive Playground
Children’s Play Farm at Inglenook Park Boundless™ Playground
20901 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield
Beech Woods Park Wheelchair Accessible Playground
22200 Beech Rd, Southfield, MI 48033
Waterford Inclusive Playgrounds
Paradise Penisula Playscape at Waterford Oaks County Park
1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford
All Kids Playground at Hess Hathaway Farm Park
825 South Williams Lake Road, Waterford
Wayne Inclusive Playground
Play 4 All at Soroptimist Park
5100 Woodward Street, Wayne
West Bloomfield Inclusive Playground
28015 Hiller Road, West Bloomfield
Amber is the proud Homeschooling mother to four beautiful children, Damian (24), Rosaleigh (10), Carlyn (7), Naomi (4), and a wife to her loving husband, Chancellor. Her family also includes three cats.
She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy.