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Playgrounds For Kids With Special Needs

Posted by: NJ Kids Contributors - April 21, 2017


It’s a great feeling to be included. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, we hope to see more and more accessible playgrounds meant for everyone - young and old - to have fun, interact and experience the freedom of learning and play. Playgrounds will cater to people of all ages with sensory, physical and psychological needs, as well as the needs of their friends, parents and caregivers. They will break down barriers so all children can play together. Here are some great playgrounds with universal access, some with ground-level play features, ramped play equipment, as well as other accessible equipment. Although not all are classified as Playgrounds for All, the ongoing programs to comply with access requirements and safety standards will soon lead to more special needs-friendly playgrounds in the foreseeable future.


16th Street, Bayonne (Hudson County)
Dedicated area to families that have children with special needs.” Features special swings which encase and protect the children. Wheelchair accessible “Beat Club” musical activities featuring plastic drums, “talk tubes”, “music time”, “babble flowers”, “Tot bongos” and “Thunder Ring”, with one slide, and climbing on either side. Game boards along the structure.


360 Central Ave, New Providence (Union County)

Open for use by the public on weekends and after 6pm weekdays. Playground, specially designed for children with special needs, features swings with high sides, platform swing, basketball court, enclosed slides, reduced-height climbing bars, cushioned with a 15-inch carpet of wood chips. Located adjacent to the Developmental Learning Center (DLC).


91 Central Ave., Morris Plains (Morris County)
Morris County Park Commission’s first fully accessible outdoor athletic facility. The playground offers kids swings, slides, music stand, and crawl tunnels, and accessible to children in wheelchairs and was specifically designed so that they can play alongside their friends and siblings. The complex includes two regulationsize in-line skating rinks, a fully accessible Challenger League ball field, sand volleyball courts, softball field, artificial turf fields, a 5K cross-country course, 5-acre dog park, natural amphitheater, disc golf course, and 1.1 miles of paved and natural trails.


Dorbrook Recreation Area 209 Rt. 537E, Colts Neck. (Monmouth County)
A Playground for Children of All Abilities with universally accessible play facility including elevated surfaces, Braille signs and three play structures with areas where children of varied abilities can play together. First universally integrated playground in NJ. Adjacent is the sprayground. “Spray and Play” is an offering for camps and other groups serving individuals with disabilities. 535 acre park also offers tennis courts, in-line rink, basketball courts and 2 miles of paved walking trails.


20 Edgemont Rd. Montclair (Essex County)
Full playground offers universal access for children of all ages and abilities. Rubber ground cover, spider web structure, and slides; one of the biggest playgrounds in the area.


713 Cumberland St., Westfield (Union County)
Built by Greg Ryan, Jr. in 2004 for his Boy Scout Eagle Project, the wheelchair-accessible playground includes a sidewalk from the parking lot to a ramped playground structure with rubber surfacing, two infant, two regular and four special needs swings, one accessible picnic table and four benches.


594 Morris & North Aves, Union (Union County)
A10.4-acre recreational area features a fully accessible boundless playground for children of all physical abilities. The park is decorated with baseball themes, a baseball-style seating area, gazebo with stadium-theme overhead, and granite dedication monument. Other attractions include a spray pool, pedestrian bridge, soccer field and para-course fitness stations. Across from Kean University.


Midland School 94 Readington Rd., North Branch (Somerset County)
Fully handicapped accessible playground for student and com munity use, featuring sandbox and planter, mock post office and bank, large tire toy, small theater, wheelchair slider, slides, swings and numerous other sensory-motor activities.


Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
221 Ocean Ave. N, Long Branch. (Monmouth County) Seaside-themed. This completed play facility includes elevated surfaces that are accessible to those in wheelchairs, Braille signs for the visually impaired, and areas where children of varied abilities can play together in fun and stimulating activities. Concession stand, restrooms, changing facilities and the beach is right here.


216 Forest Ave, Paramus (Bergen County)
One of the largest playgrounds in the area with 4 different structures and multiple-age play areas. Features an inclusive playground with handicap accessibility. Ramps, bridges, tunnels, slides, and playthings, sprinkler, picnic areas. Visit the zoo, carousel, and splash pad sprayground.


1097-1235 Palisade Ave Teaneck (Bergen County).
Wheelchair accessible construction, designed for children ages 2-12, is surrounded by a fence and consists of supportive swings, hanging bars and slides on a rubber surface. Located at the northern end of the park. This completely developed park also features in ground swimming pool, children’s wading pool, rest rooms, amphitheater, soccer fields, baseball fields, tennis courts, 2 paved 1.1 mile or 1/3 mile walking paths.


26 Monmouth Court, Livingston
Brand new playground with a completely enclosed fenced in area equipped with a rubber-surface. This is a handicap accessible playground that features a shaded play area for toddlers, swingsets for all ability levels, and play equipment for ages 8 and under. Used to be the old Little Sports Court Playground)


Knoll Rd, Lake Hiawatha (Morris County)
2 playground areas within the park, designed specifically for handicapped children. Featuring 2 wheelchair swings, and much of the main play equipment is wheelchair accessible via ramp. Rock walls, ramps mushroom caps, bars, handles, corkscrew pole, stairs and ladders, lots of puzzles, toddler tunnel. Walking path into the woods, plus picnic area. (In the Knoll Country Club)


1040 Tuckerton Road, Marlton (Burlington County)
Argh, mateys! This park has a treasure island theme complete with a pirate ship to climb through and a map to find treasure. The park is handicapped-accessible, and has two-story-high tube slides, a rock-climbing wall, spinners, swings and more. Next door is sports complex.


Challenge Grove Park, Cherry Hill (Camden County)
A Boundless Playground, first one in South Jersey, providing all equal play. The ramps are strong enough and wide enough to accommodate disabled adults so that they too can play with their kids. All equipment has ramps. The slides have enough room at the top to transfer children from a wheelchair. Lower monkey bars and rock-climbing walls that most kids can climb, and the Sway-Fun, built so two to three kids in a wheelchair can use it.


Clayton and Corkery Lanes, Williamstown (Gloucester County)
Handicapped accessible playground. Separate areas for ages 2 to 5 and 5+.

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Posted by: NJ Kids Contributors| April 21, 2017
Subcategories:  Special Needs Ideas | Feature Stories
Keywords:  Special Needs
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