Parents For Joy
paving the way so all kids can play!
Want to purchase a piece of equipment? Or make a donation to the JOY Playground project?
Parents For Joy, in collaboration with GameTime, spent hours researching the equipment to use for this unique playground. We wanted to be sure to include as many different special needs as possible. We didn't want to leave anyone out!
Almost every playground claims to be handicap accessible. But as any parent of a child with a disability, or a disabled parent, will tell you there is a big difference between "accessible" and "inclusive". Most accessible playgrounds still have lots of hazards and places that are not accessible to everyone. This playground will be like no other playground in San Luis Obispo county.
We chose an enchanted forest type theme. We wanted to incorporate nature that we have here on the beautiful Central Coast.
The ground cover is a product called Poured In Place Rubber (PIP). It will have decorative pathways and "rivers" running through it. PIP is a universal ground cover and makes the entire playground area accessible. Many playgrounds have pathways of PIP, but place it next to sand or wood chips. When PIP is placed next to other ground cover, it tends to have steep drop offs on the side, causing very hazardous conditions. When placed next to sand, the sand gets on the PIP and makes it almost like sandpaper. We will have the entire surface be PIP (except for concrete steps, a ramp, and our 2 ft tall wall surrounding the structure). It will cost approximately $150,000 just for the ground cover. But it's worth it!
The playground will be fully fenced with only one entrance gate, to help keep the "runners" safe. Many children with special needs tend to "elope" or run away and don't understand dangers, like traffic.
Our main feature will be an accessible treehouse with slides and fun panels to play with. So many children with special needs are not able to climb up a ladder to play in a treehouse. With our one of a kind design, they can feel what it's like to be high up in a tree, but still be very safe. There may even be some wild animals hidden in there!
We also chose the Rock 'N Raft. This piece seats six and accommodates a wheelchair. We wanted those who are unable to transfer from their chair to enjoy playing with friends and family. It gently rocks back and forth.
We have a Merry Go All, which is like your typical merry-go-round. It has space for up to 12 children, with 4 seats. The seats will have a seat belt for added safety.
We have chosen many different slides, including stainless steel ones for people with cochlear implants. People with these hearing devices are not supposed to go down plastic slides because of the static. We have them north-facing to hopefully cut down on the sun exposure and heat.
We have 12 swings! That's right, 12! We will have 2 standard belt swings, two infant/tot wings, two special swings with a max weight limit of 250 lbs, four Zero-G swings (two with a max weight of 50 lbs and two with a max weight of 150 lbs). These special swings have a harness system to help keep the child (or adult) upright and safe. We will also offer two adaptive swings with less restrictive seatbelts. We know how important swinging is to everyone!
We have also chosen an Arch Swing. It is a dish type swing that can accommodate lots of children. It has a rubber bumper around the edge for safety.
We will have a Whirlin' Robin Egg that rocks back and forth and can also be used for a safe space when a child gets over stimulated.
Our dragonfly teeter-totter can hold three children and has a tactile face for those with visual impairment or sensory issues.
There will be Fun Fact leaves as well as two leaves with sound buttons. One is water sounds and the other is wildlife sounds.
We have chosen logs, vine climbers, leaf spinners, and even a mushroom table and toadstools.
This playground has been meticulously designed for not only those with special needs, but for the entire community!