Get free weekly resources from us!
Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group?
Thanks, you're all set!
Three preteen girls sit on a table next to a playground.
Read in
1 min

Special Needs: What You Need to Know About Playground Safety

All kids love playgrounds! If you minister to children with special needs, here’s what you need to know about keeping your kids safe as they play.


Chances are you take kids outside to play group games or use playground equipment. Part of that means considering the needs of children with special needs so you can include them and keep them safe.

Special Needs: What You Need to Know About Playground Safety

Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, playgrounds are more accessible to children with disabilities. Even so, it’s a good idea to check your play area for safety hazards, fences, poisonous plants, proper shade, and emergency access for kids with special needs. Here are other things to consider.

Physical Disabilities

Ensure that your play area has well-located ramps and accessible surfaces such as wood chips or shredded rubber. A child who falls frequently may need to wear a protective helmet.

Learning Disabilities

Take time to explain a game carefully and demonstrate how to play. If needed, allow a child extra time to take a turn. Use this as an opportunity to teach other children patience.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Be aware of sensory issues with things such as excessive noise or heat. Children with high pain tolerance may not know when the slide is too hot. Direct a child who mouths objects to safer activities, and help that child avoid sandboxes.

Emotional/Behavior Disorders

Show children their boundaries. Discuss a child’s behavioral plan with volunteers in advance so they can consistently apply rewards or consequences.

Visual and Hearing Impairments

“Peer Buddies” work well to help these children be more aware of their surroundings and learn basic signs of communication.

When you make the effort to include children with special needs in recreation, parents notice. Safety helps you create an environment that shows all kids the love of God. Want to see the power of including children with special needs? Check out Jason McElwain’s story by searching on Youtube for “The Power of a Dream Changes Lives!”

Pat Verbal is the co-author of Special Needs-Special Ministry (Group) and manager of curriculum development at the Christian Institute on Disability.

Want more articles regarding children with special needs? Check out these posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Special Needs: What You Need to Know ...

Get free weekly resources from us!
Get free weekly resources from us!
Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group?
Thanks, you're all set!
Our Pins!