We believe everyone should feel they can join in and belong to community playgroups, regardless of their abilities. Play is a fundamental right for all children.
PlayTogether projects were trialled in ACT, South Australia and Tasmania. The program was developed to raise awareness and support community playgroups to be more inclusive for children and families, especially those with additional needs.
We recognised a need to empower those families impacted by disabilities, providing a place to share and belong. Through the initiative, we were able to provide opportunities for more families to experience the benefits of playgroups, and raise awareness through inclusive play events, and provide support to overcome playgroup participation barriers.
Being inclusive is about ensuring everyone’s needs are met at playgroup. By considering the group’s varying communication, movement, visual and hearing needs, together with needs associated with any developmental delay, we can modify the space, activities and materials we use at playgroup so that everyone truly can play together.
Ten simple things you can do to make your playgroup friendly and inclusive:
- Be friendly!
- Ensure the physical space can be accessed by everybody.
- Define the play areas well.
- Have less visual distractions and background noise.
- Provide a quiet area where a child can spend some time if they need a break.
- Have a predictable routine to each playgroup session.
- Use visual supports to demonstrate what to expect during the session.
- Set up play activities at different levels.
- Have a range of materials at craft time to suit those who struggle with fine motor activities.
- Provide extra components during messy play for children who do not enjoy the feeling of certain textures.
Want to know more
Download our Inclusive Play Book
Looking for ideas to empower your playgroup and help raise awareness? We have a few activities which may be the perfect place to start.
PlayTogether Brochure for Families
If you’re not sure where you fit in, we’re here to help.
Become a PlayTogether Playgroup
With our online training support you can make your playgroup even more inclusive. Contact Playgroup SA to learn more.