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playcore

Inclusive Play

To ensure the benefits of play are available in a meaningful way to all children, PlayCore partnered with BOLTGROUP on the research and development of better inclusive playground products.
What We Did

Industrial Design
User Research

User Personas + Scenarios
Human Factors Research

New Product Idea Generation
3D CAD Modeling

Kids playing on the Playcore Sensory Wave Climber

Challenge

In our increasingly urbanized environment, playgrounds play a critical role in a child’s health and development. Research has shown that a wide variety of age-appropriate physical, mental, and social stimulation is required for children to develop healthy minds and bodies. And kids get all of these benefits naturally through play. To ensure the benefits of play are available in a meaningful way to all children, including those with physical or mental disabilities, PlayCore partnered with BOLTGROUP on the research and development of better inclusive playground products.

Kids playing on the Playcore Sensory Wave Climber

Solution

On traditional playgrounds, most play opportunities are accessed through an array of elevated decks, ropes, and tunnels. These experiences are frequently off-limits for children that use mobility devices like wheelchairs, gait trainers, or crutches. The Sensory Wave Climber is the industry’s first playground climber that allows children of all abilities to enjoy the benefits of climbing. Strategically placed molded-in grips, handholds, and transfer area provide additional support for children of all abilities to maneuver through the climber. Along the way, an array of auditory, visual, and tactile “pods” enable the climber to have a sensory-rich play experience.

Playcore Sensory Wave Climber concept drawing
Playcore arch scale study drawing
Kids playing on the Playcore Sensory Wave Climber

The Sensory Wave Climber’s modular design consists of 4 core shapes that can be assembled like building blocks into a variety of forms, including ground level climbers, ground-to-deck entry points, or deck-to-deck bridges. This gives administrators more flexibility to incorporate inclusive physical and sensory play throughout the playground environment.

Kids playing on the Playcore Carwash System
Playcore Carwash System concept image
Playcore Carwash System concept image
Kids playing on the Playcore Carwash System

For children with Sensory Processing Disorders, including ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), the playground environment can be full of challenges. But with thoughtful design, it can be an oasis of invigorating stimulation and therapeutic relief. The Carwash System invites children of all abilities to play together in engaging, non-linear physical play. A variety of soft, squeezable, and floppy sculptural forms hang in rows, tunnels, and arrays to create full-body physical fun. Some children find relief hugging, swinging, or swaying with the soft forms. Others love to run crashing through the shapes and colors for a stimulating but safe full-body experience.

Child playing on the Playcore Carwash System

The Result

With these and other inclusive play products currently in development, PlayCore is leveraging their partnership with BOLTGROUP to design and engineer real world inclusive play solutions that are fun for children of every age, background, and ability.

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