What is a Sensory Playground?

Is there anything more representative of being a child than a playground?  The playground is a youthful epicenter of exploration, social interactions and physical exertion.

But the traditional playground can be overwhelming for children who struggle with sensory input.

The sensitivity of children with ASD to sensory stimulation can leave them feeling confused, withdrawn and even aggressive.  Playgrounds are noisy, physical places that sometimes present a tremendous challenge to these children.

So, what is a sensory playground and how can it help your ASD spectrum child?

A targeted solution

A sensory playground looks a lot like other playgrounds – a place for kids to play.

But a sensory playground provides a solution for children on the spectrum.  Specifically designed to meet their needs, a sensory playground offers ASD children the type of sensory input they’re most comfortable with, while fostering enhanced motor skills, balance and coordination.

Some key features of the sensory playground are:

  • A fenced area which prevents kids wandering off or fleeing in panic due to becoming overstimulated.
  • Surfaces anticipate impact (soft) due to the tendency of autistic children to take greater risks.  Falls happen and sensory playgrounds make accommodation for these.
  • Areas of quiet are built in as refuges from overstimulation.  These might take the form of a quiet hillock, an alcove or a playhouse, where children can escape from excessive sensory input to collect themselves.
  • Increased space between play equipment gives children more leeway, preventing them from running into one another.
  • Individual games which don’t require collaboration.  These may include kaleidoscopes, mirrors, clock panels or labyrinths.  The goal is independent play which allows ASD children to play on their own terms.

Sensory panels

The sensory playground should always include sensory panels.  These offer ASD children individual play, allowing them to experience a variety of sensory stimuli.

In a sensory playground, nature takes center stage.  Children are encouraged to dig in and build with dirt and sand, to encounter plant life, as well as birds, butterflies and local insects.

Children are naturally curios and that curiosity is fostered in the sensory playground to appeal especially to those with sensory challenges.

Sensory playgrounds give autistic children the experience of the playground but on their own terms.  When the noise and physicality of childhood play become too much, there are ways for ASD kids to escape excessive stimulation, without having to go home.

Inclusive, while allowing autistic children space for their unique way of perceiving and experiencing the world, sensory playgrounds add a little bit of what ASD children need to interact with the world comfortably.

Fun Factory Sensory Gym

Fun Factory Sensory Gym is the world’s only company that brings you fully bonded and insured multi-sensory environments from concept to completion.  Whether you’re installing a Fun Factory Sensory Gym in a home or clinic, it’s ready to use and enjoy the minute it’s installed.

You’ll be amazed at the spaces in your home which are potentially adaptable to an installation, from the garage to the attic.  

Contact us to find out more about sensory playgrounds and multi-sensory environments.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

  • Leaps and Bounds Physical Therapy

    After five years in practice, I decided that I needed to upgrade the look of my office to allow for optimal patient care. Upon researching some possibilities, I came across the Fun Factory Sensory Gym. I immediately called the company to purchase my own gym unit. We scheduled an install date and in three short days, my gym and my vision were complete. My patients and their parents walk in and are amazed at the beautiful and fun set up. I truly feel that my patients are getting the most effective and efficient care because I have the best equipment to address their individual needs. With the Fun Factory Gym equipment, I am able to help these children improve by Leaps and Bounds!

    Jill Kissel
    Clinic Owner
  • The Kaufman Children’s Center

    The Kaufman Children’s Center was proud to announce an exciting upgrade made here at the KCC. Over a long weekend in late January 2013, we completed a huge remodel to our sensory gym.

     The Kaufman Children's Center
  • Our Fun Factory Sensory Gym has been life changing for our family! The entire experience of having the FFSG team in our home was so enjoyable. The crew’s heart and soul is behind the work they’re doing. From the first phone call, FFSG was committed to helping our family and our 3 small children with their various special needs. We have already experienced the calming effects of the net swing and the multiple ways the entire gym provides sensory input and regulation for our intense sensory seekers. What a great tool for our family and more than worth the investment!

    Heather Helms

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