Stoner Thomas School - Lexington, NC
Challenges create opportunities and Stoner-Thomas School in Lexington, NC turned the challenge of a playground that didn't meet the needs of their special population into the opportunity to provide an inclusive playspace that engages a wide-range of ages and abilities and provides learning, development and socialization for all. Creating a complete play experience that helps all children develop means including the four areas of development: Sensory, Motor, Cognitive and Social/Emotional.
Beginning with accessible surfacing, Stoner-Thomas used a variety of play equipment to enhance the experiences of all children with ramps leading to exciting play events like the Cruiser Wheelchair Rocker and engaging panels such as the Drum and Car Control Panels. With other play panels throughout the space, children will stay engaged and socialize with each other.
Swinging is a childhood staple and very calming to many children in the Stoner-Thomas School population. Including both standard swings and the Freedom Inclusive Swing Seat that is specially designed to provide comfort extra support for children with limited core and upper body strength. This allows all children to experience the developmental benefits of swinging, including vestibular and imaginative play.
Climbing and sliding are also important components of an inclusive playspace and this playground has both! Children can build upper and lower body strength while climbing to the platforms and slide down for increased balance and motor planning.
Play builds community, whether at a school, park or neighborhood play area. When we all play together, everyone benefits from greater development, empathy and learning and we create a community of sharing and inclusivity.