Bringing all abilities together

Special Education Needs

children playing on special education needs playground equipment

Special education needs school playground equipment

Discover how inclusive, accessible playground equipment and designs enable children with wide-ranging abilities to play together and learn through a shared medium they all understand - play.

Outdoor play is vital for children with special needs to develop their health and offers opportunities for positive learning environments and increased social inclusion. Our adapted school playground equipment and educational play structures for special needs offer a safe environment for stimulating the senses, encouraging imaginative play and prolonged concentration while providing an inclusive space for group play with other children.

Do you want advice on how to design inclusive playgrounds?

Why is special needs outdoor play equipment important

Allowing children to naturally move and explore their bodies is essential for physical and cognitive development. Being outside helps to stimulate their senses and play on their sensory devices to explore. Accessible outdoor playground equipment is important for children with special needs as it improves coordination, mobility, balance, and proprioception. It's simple to understand why play is important for special needs children - because it makes them feel the same as any other child.

Our SEN playground equipment must consider children of all abilities, helping them feel valued and included during play.

children playing on musical playground equipment at a playground in France

Tips for designing inclusive school playgrounds

When designing school playgrounds with focus on inclusion and accessibility, it helps to incorporate the following school playground equipment and design features:

  • Sensory Play Elements: Add play panels and musical play elements that can be reached from ground level.

  • Playground Surfacing: Sand and woodschips can be hard to manouvre for children with mobility dissabilities. By choosing poored in rubber as your surface you get a high quality, easy to maintain and manouvre surfacing. It also allows you to create colour contrasts on surfaces to assist guidance.

  • Accessible playground structures: Choose playground equipment with ramps or wide access points for, e.g., wheelchairs to use.

  • Ground level playground equipment: Incorporate ground-level play options on your playground towers or climbing equipment, they are easy to access and make it possible for children of all abilities to play together.

  • Quite Areas: Make sure your school playground offers an area with benches and shading to withdraw to.

  • Solitary Play Areas: Can be individual play pieces, like playground carousels or play panels.

Below you can explore a selection of playground equipment to add to your inclusive school playground.

What SEN Playground Equipment should you choose?

Choose some of our top choices for inclusive playground equipment below.
Universal Carousel


Universal Carousel

2+ Years

29.1 m2

8 Users

6 Design Principles for Universal & Inclusive Design

Our philosophy is that children of all ages and abilities have the right to play, so our products are designed to follow 6 principles for universal and inclusive design.

  • Accessibility

  • Multifunctionality

  • 360-Degree Design

  • Diverse Play Opportunities

  • Clear in Colour & Design Signals

  • Providing Solutions for Special Needs

Learn more about how to plan and design inclusive playgrounds here.

"I would definitely suggest to anybody who is the head teacher of a school to do the same thing and to provide more equipment for children to play with, it has a huge impact on attendance, behaviour, confidence, friendship"

- Gayle MacDonald, Head Teacher at Corpus Christi Primary School, Glasgow, Scotland

Universal playground equipment derived from research and user participation

KOMPAN Play Institute work closely with schools, education centres and parents to build dedicated areas for safe, accessible, and interactive play. Our Special needs outdoor playground equipment is designed to develop motor learning, stimulate children's senses and encourage socialisation.

You can see more about how to plan and design inclusive playgrounds here.

Acorn Park SEN UK thumbnail ID 44da3ea7, 74b380ae

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Get inspiration from other school playgrounds

Acorn Park SEN School



Customer Case

nature playground at the forest of Westminster School in Atlanta

Westminster School, United States

Other school playground resources

early childhood reference image


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Secondary School

Obstacle course for colleges and universities

Colleges & Universities

Special Education Needs