April 08, 2019

Parents for Joy and GameTime Bring Inclusive Play to Atascadero, California

On a Mission for Joy

GameTime is excited to announce the opening of Joy Playground, the first fully-inclusive playground in Atascadero, California and the only fully-inclusive playground in San Luis Obispo County. Parents For Joy, a group of parents and families of children with special needs, advocated tirelessly to bring this playground to the community. Through their efforts, the community raised awareness for the need, and funding to build, this beautiful, inclusive play space. 




Watch the KSBY newscast announcing the new Joy Playground in Atascadero, California

The mission of Parents for Joy was to create an inclusive playground that will allow all children to do what most kids take for granted: to simply play. Working with Great Western Recreation, the exclusive representative for GameTime in San Luis Obispo County, the group spent hours researching the equipment to use for this unique playground. They were committed to creating as many play opportunities as possible so no one was left out of the fun.

Members of Parents for Joy celebrate the all-new and fully-inclusive Joy Playground


The playground has a forest theme to mimic the scenic beauty of California's Central Coast. It features Poured-In-Place rubber surfacing to make the entire play area accessible. There is a fence around the playground with a single entry/exit area to discourage elopement, or running away from parents and caregivers. There is an accessible treehouse structure with slides and interactive game panels, a Rock N Raft so children of all abilities can enjoy the rocking and swaying motion together and a Merry-Go-All for inclusive spinning play. 


Parents for Joy Co-Founder, Sarah Sullivan, and her son help cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Joy Playground


There are 12 swings! That's right, 12! There's two standard belt swings, two infant/tot swings, two larger swings with a max weight limit of 250 lbs, four Zero-G swings for children who need extra support, and an Arch Swing for multiple users at once. Swings are an important part of the play experience and provide significant developmental and cognitive benefits. Parents for Joy made sure there were plenty of swings for everyone!


Inclusive play activities like the Rock N Raft make play possible for children of all abilities


There are many other fun activities that support children of all abilities such as the Whirlin' Robin Egg (a spinning activity that also provides sensory relief), a dragonfly see-saw, log and mushroom climbers that fit the forest theme and fun fact signs with animal and water sounds.

The playground is located next to the Colony Park Recreation Center in Atascadero. The work of Parents for Joy, along with the community leaders and supporting organizations, has created a community centerpiece for play and recreation. Joy Playground is a model for any city who wants to promote social equity, physical activity and civic pride. It is a true example of how Play Has No Limit®.