A NSW Government website

Inclusive playspaces

Creating playspaces that allow people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds to play together is essential for community harmony

What is an inclusive playspace?

An inclusive playspace invites people of all ages, abilities and cultures to come together to socialise and play.

Inclusive playspaces are easy to access, easy to move around in, provide a range of play types and challenges, and are equipped with appropriate facilities in a comfortable environment – allowing people to stay as long as they choose.

Expanding the space beyond traditional playspace boundaries helps ensure there are suitable supporting facilities to create an inclusive experience for all.

Who does it serve?

Children, youth and adults

Playspaces are utilised by a range of people, most notably children, adults, families and carers. Everyone Can Play helps ensure there are inclusive play opportunities for a broader range of users – differing in age, ability and culture.


Playspaces exist in varied communities. By improving the network of inclusive playspaces, Everyone Can Play seeks to provide the people of NSW with an opportunity to embrace the diversity within their community.

Playspace professionals

Playspaces are built through collaboration from councils, developers, designers, planners and manufacturers. Everyone Can Play provides the considerations and tools required to guide the planning, design and delivery processes. 

Why are inclusive playspaces important?

Playspaces are a key community asset, bringing people together in a fun, welcoming and comfortable environment.

Play teaches children to socialise and interact, develops creativity and imagination, enhances emotional and cognitive development, and encourages risk-tasking and problem-solving. Besides the obvious benefits of movement, exercise and fitness, play provides the building blocks to children’s complete development – from balance, vision and hearing to tactile learning and sensory integration.

With 1.3 million NSW people living with a disability, an aged population increasingly involved in the care of grandchildren, and a highly multicultural society, our state’s playspaces should provide an inclusive experience for everyone.

Creating playspaces that allow people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds to play together is essential for community harmony, building a society of tolerance and understanding is a value of inclusive playspaces in our community.

Making playspaces in NSW more inclusive

We’ve collaborated with local government, design experts and disability advocates to create Everyone Can Play in NSW, a practical toolkit for creating playspaces in which everyone belongs.

Video Transcript

- The future for play in NSW for me is an inclusive future.

- It's something that levels the world for everybody. It's something that doesn't matter what age you are, or what ability you are, you can play.

- And enjoy day-to-day living, despite any barriers or challenges that they have.

- Two of my children are on the spectrum, so being able to take them places where they feel part of and can socialise is really important.

- Introduce children to other children with disability.

- If they start to grow up and they see that everyday when they're out playing, they're embrace that and it won't be such a big issue.

- The Everyone Can Play in NSW guidelines are a framework and a tool for people who work in the creation of play spaces in NSW.

- Where communities can come together, where play can happen, where socialising can happen, where people can undertake challenges.

- Everybody generally wants to be thinking about inclusion and they want to be more aware of what to do, but they don't quite know where to start.

- In the regional areas, it might be more challenging. These guidelines will help understand what the issues are and a document that provides some framework to inclusive playgrounds.

- The NSW Government worked very closely with industry, local government, and design professionals in the creation of these guidelines.

- We aren't just talking about guidelines and play spaces being inclusive, but also about the way that the guidelines are being developed has shown how you can do that inclusively, as well, by inviting as many voices as possible to the table.

- People from all different walks of life advising what they think is important.

- We workshopped ideas, we tested ideas and what we've done is, we've come up with a tool that has been challenged and tested.

- That gives you policy, examples, design principles, it gives you all of that background.

- Who might be using their space, how we want them to use it, how we want them to get there, how we want them to feel like they're welcome to stay, how we might encourage them to engage with other people, how we might give them opportunity to withdraw and find reflective spaces.

- This is a document that you can use that will help you design something that will actually bring everybody together and they can all play and will have ongoing impacts to those children in those places is awesome for every council, but particularly those regional and rural councils that don't necessarily have that information.

- Really practical, solid framework to give you something that will fit with whatever you're needing to do.

- From manufacturers at the backend, for the designers, for the construction team, and those that set the budget, great clarity to how we improve providing play spaces to be far more inclusive than we have in the past.

- This guideline actually gets them to appreciate the input of the community who's going to be using it and how to actually develop that to a place that is inclusive for all, as opposed to just replacing a playground or putting in a piece of equipment.

- We've got a lot of existing playgrounds that are pretty traditional. This guideline will inform them and how we can improve those and open those up to a broader range of our community members.

- Everyone Can Play and the guidelines is going to achieve a greater understanding.

- It's really exciting to see NSW leading the world in this.

- The future for play in NSW is; I can get there, I can stay, and I can play. That is the foundation stone and with those three simple questions, we can ensure that play spaces of NSW are inclusive and available to everybody.

Inclusive design

An inclusive playspace utilises principles of inclusive design and accessibility, creating spaces people of all ages and abilities can enjoy.

Read more on inclusive design

Children playing in a roundabout in the Bowraville Children's Playspace. Image credit: Nambucca Shire Council.