A network to share best practices for children with special needs
A couple of thoughts:
I believe Dr Lucy Jane Miller's SPD Foundation has been instrumental in developing sensory playgrounds in the denver area. You may want to go to www.SPDfoundation.net to ask your question.
Also, you may want to google ZONTA playground near Toronto, Canada. That is a public park spearheaded by an OT and her woman's group.
Ingrid M. Kanics, OTR/L, (President, Kanics Inclusive Design Services, LLC) who partners with Landscape Structures INc. would also be a great resource.
Good luck. This is a great Idea which will bw a wonderful addition to your community!!!
To follow up on Diana's response above
There is a lot of emphasis building in the creation of sensory playgrounds or sensory rich playground. A real leader in this field is Landscape Structure -
Actually, they are doing a contest with Shane's Inspiration right now that could help your community get $100,000 of playground equipment - for more on the contest go to
Links to the other projects that Diana listed above
Zonta Playground - Mississauga, ONT
Another great one in Canada is in Hamilton, ONT - this is the Pier 4 Park that includes water and sand play along with a full size tugboat
A great to work with in Canada is ABC Recreation - on projects like this is
In the US - I know that Lucy Jane Miller's organization the STAR center had just moved and they will be meeting with Landscape Structures and myself in June to design their playground for future research.
A great group that has some done some great sensory playgrounds in the Denver Area is Rocky Mountain Recreation
Pamela Wolfberg is doing research on her sensory playground that is located at her school the Autism Institute
Other great inclusive - sensory rich playgrounds include
Morgan's Wonderland - San Antonio, TX
Preston's Hope - Beachwood, OH
J.T. Grommet's Island Park - Virginia Beach, VA
Kids Together Park - Cary, NC
I'm sure there are more - they are just not coming to my mind at the moment -
If you would like any additional help feel free to contact me - I specialize in helping communities create inclusive play spaces (indoor and out) that are sensory rich and support visitors of all abilities. I've been doing such work with Children's Museums and playground areas for about 10 years and this past year just started my own company.
If you are interested in attending a symposium on this topic I host one each year called Play For All an Inclusive Play Symposium
Most of all have fun creating a great place for your community!
My pleasure - I was about 3/4 through my response when I lost the whole thing getting a link so I apologize for any typo/grammar errors -
The key thing is to be sure that you have a nice balance of all the senses for children - also look at creating spaces that support play for smaller groups of 1-2 children and 3-4 children at a time. A lot of times children with autism will migrate to these areas while they watch other children playing - these are good places to put tactile, visual and sound play.
Patch Reef Park on Yamato Road Boca Raton Fl recently completed a Sensory rich playgound. Not sure who the design team was. However it is AMAZING
Not so much a sensory playground, but I love Weezie's Garden and so does my sensory kid. I'd put it in my backyard if I could (http://www.masshort.org/Weezie-s-Garden-for-Children) also, Kids at Play playground in Marhsfield, MA is great (http://www.patriotledger.com/features/x863069667/Eco-friendly-Marsh...) maybe the folks who spearheaded that could help you out... (http://marshfieldkidsatplay.com/_