A NSW Government website
Everyone Can Play

Can I play?

Levelling the playing field - Meet Leila and Maia

"The right playspace means Mia can be a kid! She gains more confidence, improves her skills and gets to make new friends! With the right design, it’s a place she can be on the same...

Video Transcript

- Emily Meyer.

- And Jason.

- We've come to this park. Might have been about four or five. And that was the biggest change for us. A local playground was open, quite small. With a dog park. Really lovely little park. But super stressful for us. We needed somewhere that she would be safe. Both kids could actually play together or separately. For Maya, she's very sensory. Her favourite thing is the sandpit. But our other daughter, she wants to be challenged and she wants to climb ropes and go down slides.

- It's inclusive for everyone.

- That's it. It's not about going to a playground that suits just Maya, but also being around other families that were in similar situations.

- We've experienced in other playgrounds often where you meet a lot of families and children that haven't had exposure to children with disabilities.

- She'd be playing with the kids in the sandpit and Maya can't talk. She makes a lot of sounds. She looks a little different and some kids are brilliant. They just get on and they play and they do all this sort of stuff with her. And others you can kind of see they're a little bit hesitant, but you can say hey, this is Maya. She likes to dig in the sandpit. She likes to build all these things. You know, if you do this with her you're going to have a lot of fun together. And all of sudden she's building friendships with other kids in the community. Other parents are seeing Maya playing with her child and we can have conversations with them as well.

- As more people talk to us and meet our children, they become far more accepting and we've noticed that more within these sort of areas.

- You have to have a sandpit. Honestly it's just this it's this hub of activity where kids play side by side or they build volcanoes together.

Can I play? Tips for inclusive play

No two playspaces are the same and little changes can make a big difference.  Consider these tips so that everyone can play. For more information on Can I Play and other inclusive playspace principles download the Everyone Can Play Guideline. 

  1. There are a range of adaptable play opportunities for people of different sizes, abilities and ages.
  2. The basic supporting elements of the playspace (gates, furniture and pathways) are universally designed.
  3. You can personalise the playspace experience and interact with others through flexible use.
  4. There are interesting play opportunities provided for everyone.
  5. People can decide how they want to play and with who.
  6. There are informal and imaginative play opportunities that encourage creativity.
  7. Sensory focused and natural elements, like music, sand and water, are included.
  8. All playspace equipment, fall zones and surfacing complies with relevant Australian standards.
  9. There are quiet points for rest and passive interaction.
  10. Equipment is designed so adults can fit in or under.

Sydney Park Playground, Sydney

By integrating a playspace into the wider landscape of a park, playspace users can benefit from not only the challenges of play, but also the opportunities of surrounding amenities. 

Sydney Park Playground incorporates many Can I Play principles, including equipment for all abilities ages, sensory and natural elements, informal play opportunities, and multiple, challenging play opportunities for a variety of abilities. 

Download the Can I play playspace example.