Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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46 Landscape Architect and Specifier News kids need options to engage visually. Once comfortable, a child can even create a game playing face-to-face with a friend. At Rocket's Universe, the Cozy Dome creates a secure place for self-regulation for an over-stimulated child. The plastic dome has multiple entrances for escape, but often becomes a quiet calming node for kids on the Autism spectrum. The inclusive Omnispinner and Wee-saw offer physical and sensory play opportunities for all children as varying speeds and degrees of force are used. Each can be a soother for hyposensitive kids but overwhelm hypersensitive. Both allow children with upper body strength to perform the heavy lifting activity and less able-bodied children to enjoy the rhythmic movement, thus displaying multi-user elements. The Double Bobble Spring Rider provides face-to-face play and benefits the vestibular system, forcing a child to practice balance and motion perception as they maintain head and body posture. For this project, contrabass chimes, tuned drums and a pagoda were positioned throughout the playground. Introducing sounds one at a time offers the non-verbal child an opportunity to use music as a means of communication. Tactile Sand Play Our custom Lunar Themed Sand Table is where tactile experiences provide an avenue into play. Some on the autism spectrum may find sand too rough and may look for smooth graphic images in the table. By making the table wheelchair accessible on one side, it ensures that children with disabilities are engaging in the same / space, same / time as peers. The Swing Zone Thematic sandblast details connect the Sand Play area and Swing zone. Repetitive movement can be stimulating and relaxing, but sensory overload may cause over excitement and become a safety concern. Landscape architects are limited in selection due to the cost of required surfacing. Inclusive playgrounds must provide high-back swings to support those with poor spinal stability and muscle control. Belt and bucket seat are favorites based on age. The Oodle Swing benefits children with spinal problems but can also be a soother for sensory seeking kids. Resilient Surfacing Support devices allow a child to go everywhere at Rocket's Universe with 100% resilient surfacing. There is no location, other than the sand box, where a support device bound child cannot access. Visual differentiation with color and themed graphics help kids who have difficulty locating themselves in a large space. Closing When you envision a future playground, there may likely be more sensory, interactive play through digital technology that won't be possible without today's generation capturing the opportunities, creating a better understanding of what all children experience and feel! Top: There are six interactive panels on the playground designed to encourage childhood literacy. This color splash panel is one such piece of the playground, introducing color with language prompts in English and Spanish. The remaining panels emphasize topics such as sounds, motor skills and space. Above: The custom, three-tiered table has varying heights and two sand shoots. Entering a sand area on one side or pavement on the other allows access to this GFRC countertop, which is also embedded with graphic images of planets. Project Team Non-Profit Organization: Shane's Inspiration, CEO Tiffany Harris Landscape Architect: Diane Scanlan Project Development: Brad Thornton Materials/Manufactured Products Landscape Structure, Inc.: Play Structures Victor Stanley: Site furnishings (Benches, tables, trash receptacles) Rocket's Universe Continued from page 44

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