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Adaptive Playgrounds for Kids with Medical Complexities

Children discover the world through play, so adaptive playgrounds are the perfect place to spend summer days and evening. Over the years, we have learned about a number of adaptive playgrounds across the state, and want to share them with you.

All public playgrounds are required by law to have at least some activities for people with disabilities, whether it’s a wheelchair-accessible ramp to reach the play area, harnesses, or wheelchair decks on special swings. Some parks have modified digging and rocking toys, non-plastic slides (plastic can affect hearing aids due to static electricity), hand railings, and different colors on multilevel sets to help children with vision issues avoid falls.

However, it’s difficult to find the exact adaptive features at individual playgrounds until you visit the area, so we’d love to have you share your experiences.

Adaptive Playgrounds in Minnesota

Meanwhile, here are the adaptive playgrounds we found, alphabetically by location:

Did we miss any? What features does your child enjoy? Which adaptive playgrounds do you recommend? Let us know! If you’re looking for accessible playgrounds across the United States, National Public Radio has created a comprehensive database at

Originally published: June 17, 2011
Showing 2 comments
  • Ruhs
    Reply to RuhsComment ID#: 361

    These parks are so cool. Reading this reminds me of a favorite memory of mine. A few years ago, when my daughter was a toddler, I was driving home through my neighborhood, which takes me right past our neighborhood park, when I heard the laughter of a very familiar child. Recognizing that laugh as my daughter’s over all the other laughing, playing children, I stopped, parked and walked into the mass of parents and children enjoying a sunny, warm summer day at the park to see if, indeed, I heard my little princess. Sure enough, there she was, with a huge smile on her face – and sand. She was as surprised and happy to see me as I was her having a ball with mom. I’ll never forget hearing and distinguishing her laugh (and being surprised that I was able, considering I didn’t expect her at the park) over all the others. We really do connect with and know our preceious children on a very deep level. Don’t adult penquins listen among hundreds of babies to find their own as they return from fishing with food to share?

  • speeltoestellen
    Reply to speeltoestellenComment ID#: 362

    This playground was built for children with disabilities. It
    is good that they do put up this project so that kids could have fun despite of
    their disabilities.

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