This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Did you know that October is Sensory Awareness Month? Today on Theresa’s Reviews, Landscape Structures Inclusive playgrounds are featured! Check out why inclusive play is important to children and why playground accessibility for young children matters. To explain my connection to this topic, I’m also sharing the benefits and results of having my children attend an inclusive preschool program.
The Importance of Inclusive Play with Landscape Structures
If you are looking for a way to raise children to be kind towards others, inclusive play encourages all children to grow together. One playground that offers a fantastic play environment for all children is Landscape Structures. With locations around the country, these playgrounds create an inclusive play experience that can help children learn life lessons such as leadership, persistence, support and empathy.
Our Family’s Story of Inclusivity
Before my first child was born, one of my biggest hopes was raising children who are kind, but like many new mothers, I also wondered what she would look like. Would she have super dark hair like my husband and me? Would she let me dress her up in the cutest clothes, like Suri Cruise was wearing at the time?
Only weeks before she was born, the most nerve-racking moment was learning from my doctor that despite eating nutritious food, giving up coffee, and doing all I could do to have the most healthy baby, she could still be born with a variety of different problems that they might have not caught during the pregnancy. All my thoughts of whether her eyes would be hazel or brown were gone, and I could only hope that she would be born okay.
When both children were born, I was so lucky to have healthy babies, and I remember having my husband count their toes just to make sure they were absolutely okay.
When I was in graduate school for education at Vanderbilt, I learned the prominent essay “Welcome to Holland,” which tells the journey parents must take to a place they did not expect to go when they have a child with special needs. While I could not fully understand the experience of a parent who raises and educates a child with a disability, I understood the fear a parent might have before discovering that their journey as a parent could be different. Having gone through pregnancy, I could relate to the uncertainty involved with what the future would hold.
At that point in graduate school, I had a healthy and beautiful toddler, who I was determined to raise in a way that would show her how much kindness and inclusivity mattered. As she prepared for preschool, I signed her up as a peer in the local inclusive Pre-K program, where she met and became close friends with children who had a variety of disabilities. She didn’t realize that they were different from her, and their differences never mattered to her.
In Kindergarten at our first parent teacher conference, the teacher remarked that my daughter always remembered to make friends with classmates that the other students did not remember to include. Later, since I had seen the kindness and empathy that resulted from having attended an inclusive Pre-K peer program, I signed her younger sister up for the same school. To this day, I hope to continue fostering in my children a desire to understand and include others.
Since an inclusive preschool experience worked well for our family, I am excited to share information about Landscape Structure inclusive playgrounds. With inclusive play, the experience goes beyond accessibility to address age and developmental appropriateness with sensory-stimulating activity. As a result of inclusive playgrounds and increasingly diverse social communities, you can work towards social equity and inclusion for all.