What should you look for when shopping/customizing a swing set for a child with disabilities?
First, I want to say that I am not an expert on this and will not pretend to be. I will be leaning heavily on quotes from various customers who have children with disabilities and bought a King Swing sets.
Ultimately, you know what is best for your child. Trust your instincts and take the following blog suggestions. These points or ideas are what other families found helpful, but they may not be true for your specific situation.
To protect privacy, I will change names. Also, if needed, I will add or change words when there is a mess up in the voice-to-text or some needed clarification. These changes will be in brackets.
As always, please get in touch with our team if you have any questions regarding designing a swing set for a child with disabilities. Ask for Katie or email [email protected], as she has headed up most of these projects.
Access to the Tower
This is an important decision for families. One family, who we will name the Jones, talked about how important the stairs were for their access point. It stood at the sweet spot of being a bit challenging but not too much. “[My child] was able to challenge himself, but was successful at the same time,” Mrs. Jones commented.
This staircase was important for their overall goal of a playset their child could play on confidently and without needing adult support, “just like a typical kiddo.”
When thinking about how your child will enter the tower, I think the wisdom the Jones expressed about being challenging yet successful is so important. Another thing to consider is making access easy for adults to maneuver. You may need to play with or be ready to enter the tower. Our staircase and ramps don’t have a crossbar at the top, making it very easy for adults to get into the tower.
The Jones said, “We also needed a slide with a bit of a side to it at the top because going unto his bottom is not the most fluid motion.” This is why they went with the avalanche slide, as it has higher sides and a nice lip on the bottom for a smooth ending.
“Emma loves the slides!” the Kropfs tell us, “We chose the racing slides [two slides side-by-side], so when she’s older, we could slide right with her…it was important for us to be able to interact with her.”
For children who need an extra level of safety, the avalanche slide and super spiral slides are great choices. Both have tall sides, and both are not lightning-fast. Tube slides, while covered, are very fast, and children with low natural reflexes will have difficulty catching themselves; hence I don’t recommend them.
The Kropfs note, “She loves sitting and spinning the tic tac toe! We also love that we added decking under the tower. It makes this space usable for the donut swing, and in the summer, we plan to put a little water table under there so she can play in the shade!”
They also urge others to “Add a donut swing option!! This is her favorite, as she can lie down on it, and we can swing/spin her! My nieces came over a couple of days ago…and they enjoyed sitting on the donut swing spinning around!”
When designing a swing set for children with disabilities, it seems, from listening to our customers, that sometimes it is the simple things that bring the most joy. A great starting point would be for you to visit our massive playground and experience all we have to offer firsthand.
Visiting the playground would also help you judge the angles of the ramps, slides, etc. Also, you could test out various access points and see how well your children handle them. And you can test drive all the different types of slides and sizes of towers. This may be the best piece of advice I can personally give you.
Things to Consider
The Kropfs are thinking of adding a more rigid barricade to their monkey bar entrance and across the opening to the rock climbing wall to help keep their child safe while she is in the tower. This is something to consider if your child doesn’t have normal reflexes and will help prevent a small fall from becoming something more serious.
Also, the Kropfs advise using solid railings instead of rope railings. Solid railings add another level of safety and stability to the access point. Also, our ramp was a bit steeper than they had first thought. They would advise extending the ramp to change the angle.
The Kropfs and the Jones loved the customizing aspect. They could add or take away items and create a unique design that fits their needs. To these families, the customizing played a huge role in their feeling confident that the swing set would be used and be perfect for their children.
To learn more about customizing, visit our customizing page.
Both families were very happy with the clear communication and pricing. “It is hard to find equipment that meets the needs of our kiddos that isn’t double the price,” noted the Jones.
The Kropfs said, “You all made it so easy for us to get it [the swing set] exactly as we wanted it. The transparency of pricing was also so helpful…You were so patient in answering all of my questions and so prompt! That in itself decided to choose King Swings so easily!”
We at King Swings really want to come alongside you and your journey. We don’t mind a thousand questions and multiple designs. We want to be a blessing to you, and ultimately, our goal mirrors the Jones when they said the process gave them “confidence and excitement that our son could play on a playscape just like any other kid.”