How to Design Playgrounds for Optimal Sensory Development

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The daily lives of U.S. children are changing dramatically, and not always for the better. Children today spend a large amount of time with various forms of technology and screens. A sedentary lifestyle brings many concerns and risk factors, including significant limits on the chance for children to develop into balanced, confident, well-adapted adults. Architects and landscape architects play a vital role in providing children with interesting and stimulating built outdoor environments. An increased understanding of the ways in which sensory motor development can be supported through play is a vital topic.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Accessibility / ADA
Business Practices / Contracts / HR
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
At the conclusion of this presentation, you should be able to:
Define seven senses, including the lesser-known senses of body position (proprioception) and the sense of balance and movement (the vestibular sense).
Explain the benefits of sensory play for child development.
Identify components of a play area that is accessible, inclusive, and welcoming for children of varied abilities, and which will offer opportunities for supporting sensory and motor development, as well as facilitating positive social communication and active participation.
Specify playground equipment that creates sensory development opportunities for all children.
Describe several case studies illustrating how the landscape architect/designer specified playground layout and equipment to serve the needs of all children.
Kathy Price-Robinson, Zoe Mailloux
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PlayPower, Inc

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