A childhood summer favorite is exploring new playgrounds. At Integrated Pediatric Therapies, we love a good playground, especially one that is inclusive and accessible. When you and your child are at the playground this summer, consider the following tips from our the IPT therapists.
- Take a photo of the playground when you arrive so your child can communicate by pointing to what they want to play next.
- On the swing or slide, use carrier phrases to increase language, such as “ready, set,” pause, and “go.” If your child isn’t using verbal language, have them high five you to communicate “go.”
- Model how to use the equipment so your child can visualize how to do it themselves. They’ll also love that you are playing with them.
- Play eye spy if your child needs time to warm up to the play space.
- Give your child plenty of prep before leaving. For example, you can say, “Pick one more thing to play and then we will leave.”
- Give your child a helper job to transition off the playground. For example, pushing the stroller, carrying the water bottle, or holding the snack for at the car.
For listings of inclusive playground in the Chicagoland area, visit Let Kids Play and Chicago Parent. Looking to make a current playground in your community more engaging and inclusive? Consider advocating with your local community group to install certain equipment or a large communication board.
or call 847.412.4379.