Camphill School Aberdeen gives the gift of play with new inclusive sensory playground

May 23, 2024

We’re opening Aberdeen’s first fully inclusive outdoor sensory adventure and learning playground and we need your help to turn our vision into a reality!


We recently launched a fundraising campaign to help us create a safe space for children and young people with sensory disorders where they can enjoy their right to play. Public playgrounds can often leave young people with sensory disorders and their families feeling anxious, overwhelmed, judged, and excluded. No child or parent should have to feel this way in an environment that is meant to bring joy.


Outdoor play is a vital part of young people's development.


In a recent survey, 78% of parents of children and young people we support told us that they feel unable to access public playgrounds with their child due to judgement, sensory concerns and challenging behaviours. Yet, everyone who was surveyed said they see outdoor play as an essential part of their child’s development and wellbeing.


Our new sensory outdoor adventure and learning playground is endorsed by the National Autistic Society and will provide a safe and inclusive space for children and young people from across the region. There are around 35,000 children with registered additional support needs (ASN) in Aberdeen City. That is a huge number of children who are being excluded from such an important part of childhood development – outdoor play. 


The three zones of the sensory playground.


The playground will have three zones: sensory and creative, communication and team building, and adventure and confidence. It has been co-designed by young people here at Camphill School Aberdeen to ensure the playground meets the needs of those who will benefit from the facility once it’s open.


The design includes many sensory adventure play elements that are beneficial to young people of all abilities. This includes the presence of rustling leaves, water features, and wind chimes which can provide auditory stimulation contributing to auditory processing skills. On top of this, certain types of sound can influence mood. Also, the playground will feature climbing structures and balance beams to promote the development of gross motor skills, coordination and spatial awareness. Furthermore, in the communication and team building zone, group play and social interaction are encouraged. This will help to support the development of social skills amongst young people.


Artist impression of sensory playground.


Once open, our playground will be accessible to all children and families in the wider community in Aberdeen who would benefit from accessing relaxed play sessions, including specialised additional support needs (ASN) school bases, other ASN charities and groups, and Camphill School Aberdeen pupils. The playpark will utilise an online booking system to prevent overcrowding and ensure play sessions are as relaxed as possible for the young people.


Camphill Estate will also be part of the route of this year's Kiltwalk on Sunday, June 2nd. There will be a pit stop on our estate, just past the 10-mile marker in Milltimber, which will allow us to showcase our grounds, share information about our fantastic work and highlight where the inclusive sensory playground will be situated.


Camphill Estate is on this year's Kiltwalk route!


Together we can ensure that every child in Aberdeen has an equal right to play. 


Find out more about how you can help make our vision a reality, here, or get in touch with our fundraising team to discuss our corporate packages.


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