Design an Adaptive Playground: Today's STEM Play of the Day

Jul 13, 2020

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation works closely with the League of Dreams and other partners to provide programming for youth with special needs all around the country. Part of our mission is to raise funding, design, and build low-maintenance, synthetic turf fields called Youth Development Parks, so at-risk youth may have safe spaces to engage in athletic, recreational, and educational experiences. To this date, we have constructed 96 fields --18 of which are Adaptive fields that provide a safe space for children of all levels of ability to play and grow. 

Adaptive Playground -- Design It!


  • Paper
  • Drawing/coloring tools (colored pencils, markers, etc.)

Activity Instructions/questions

Your challenge is to pretend you are an engineer and design a playground that incorporates Adaptive elements allowing kids of all physical abilities a place to safely play! 

Before you start designing, consider the following:

  • What are some modifications you have seen in public places designed to help people with disabilities? 
  • Have you ever seen an Adaptive playground? If so, what special equipment was on this playground? If not, what do you imagine would be on one?
  • What are some parts of a playground you think would need to be modified to be accessible to children of different physical abilities? Describe how these modifications would be used.
  • Now, grab your paper and coloring tools, and sketch a design of your Adaptive playground!

Share your sketch with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!