What started as a simple idea to see kids with disabilities playing alongside typically-developing kids came to fruition last summer in Mustang with Brittany’s Play Adventure (1201 N. Mustang Rd., Mustang). Lynly Grider was inspired by her sister-in-law Brittany Grider to present the idea for the playground to city officials. Brittany, she explained, is her 34-year-old sister-in-law who has special needs. She’s non-verbal, but Lynly said she giggles constantly every time she visits the playground.
The entire playground is accessible by wheelchair, but Lynly is thrilled to report there are 200-300 visitors a week of all ages and abilities.
“There really is something for everyone,” Lynly said. “It was very overwhelming at the opening to see all abilities playing there. I had parents (of special needs kids) come up to me telling me their 40-year-old kids had never been able to play on a playground before.”
Thankfully, more and more metro parks are making upgrades and adjustments to make them more inclusive to kids with disabilities. Here are some other great places for kids of all abilities to play:
Central Park in Moore
700 S. Broadway
Kids of all ages and abilities flock to this train-themed playground with slides, tunnels and tons of features. Extra-wide ramps and platforms and sensory-stimulating activities encourage inclusive play for all kids.
Freedom Trail Playground in Yukon
2101 S. Holly Ave., Yukon
This Yukon play place was built with kids of all abilities in mind. Highlights include swings, bridges, ladders, an archaeological sand dig and even musical features. The nearby duck pond and butterfly garden are a hit with kids, too.
Piedmont Community Park
130 Gooder Simpson Blvd., Piedmont
This exciting new park project was put together by more than 1,800 volunteer laborers last summer and finally opened to the public at the end of April. The entire community came together to build the park, complete with many ADA features including an ADA zip line.
Myriad Gardens Children’s Gardens
301 W. Reno
After being closed a few weeks at the end of March and beginning of April, the Myriad Botanical Gardens Children’s Garden revealed some upgrades to playground equipment designed specifically for children with special needs. Upgrades make it possible for children of all abilities to enjoy a merry-go-round, seesaw and swing.