Taking the family to the local park is a favourite pastime for so many Australian families. Spaces where children can play, make new friends, explore, and of course burn off that extra energy! But unfortunately most playgrounds are not inclusive or accessible for children with special needs, and that suit a variety of abilities, meaning they miss out on all the learning and development opportunities playgrounds offer.
Here is Brisbane playgrounds are slowly becoming more and more accessible and inclusive for children with Brisbane City Council now listing 40 All Abilities Parks across the city. These parks feature inclusive equipment including accessible carousels, sand diggers and pits, wheelchair friendly rockers and swings, and sensory panels and elements – just to name a few!
To help get you and your family out into the playground we’ve rounded up our favourite accessible and inclusive playgrounds in Brisbane.
The ‘All Abilities Playground’ in Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens is part of the city councils broader changes to the park, which includes wider footpaths and upgraded toilet facilities with ceiling hoist for people with disabilities.
The playground itself includes an accessible carousel, harness swing, and an accessible sand digger. There is also a range of sensory and musical activities including spinning hand objects, clear shapes to look through, and musical chimes. For those with sensory difficulties the park also offers a quiet zone with sculptures so children can escape the noise but still play.
Just 30 mins north of Brisbane the Robelle Domain Playground at Springfield Lakes is an 11 kilometre pathway network that works its way through rainforest walks, a lake, waterfall, and Australia’s first Icon on Galaxy interactive play equipment in an all abilities playground. The park also features a zero-depth water play area complete with a huge tipping bucket and water jets.
There are lots of shaded areas to escape the sun, and an amphitheatre which often hosts free events including Jazz afternoons and markets.
A popular playground for bayside families, Capalaba Regional Park is a modern and colourful playground with lots of things for kids to explore. The playground features sensory installations including steel drums and an audio spinning wheel, and a sandpit and totem pole maze. There is also a liberty swing available, and all other sets of swings feature reinforced seats with back and head support. Away from the playground you’ll find the lagoon, which is perfect for spotting ducks, turtles and eels. There are wheelchair friendly paths throughout the park and multiple picnic tables making it a great spot to spend the entire day.
The Whites Hill Reserve ‘exploration’ playground has equipment suitable for kids of all ages and abilities. This 170-hectare park features lots of sand and water play, a hidden forest for quiet play, and raised pathways giving easy access to lots of play elements. The popular Sway Fun Glider is wheelchair accessible with room for two wheelchairs as well two large benches for other passengers. In the swing section you’ll find a birds nest swing, hammock swings, two standard seats, baby seat and support seat. The little ones will also love the sensory section, which features drums and two pipe instruments.
George Clayton Park has modern wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities. There are some great concrete paths throughout and along the waterfront for walking, bike and scooter riding catering for both wheelchairs and prams. The playground is sheltered by shade structures and shady trees. The park has bench seating, picnic shelters with tables, two electric barbeques and lots of grassy space. The playground equipment is suited to a variety of ages and abilities and is fully fenced. The waterfront is fenced from the adjacent walking path.
Check out the Queensland Government site here for more info on wheel chair swings and other all ability playgrounds around Brisbane and beyond!
Do you have another park that you love for its accessibility and inclusiveness? We’d love to hear about it!
Image Credit: Brisbane Kids