Professional Development

Make a Splash: Creating Inclusive Water Play Destinations

Course Description:

Water is a powerful medium that naturally inspires social interactions, offers sensory-rich opportunities, and ignites joyful experiences that enrich the mind, body, and spirit.  Celebrate the many research-based health benefits of water and empower communities to effectively make the case for aquatic play destinations for people of all ages and abilities! This session will review design best practices to create multigenerational water play destinations that are more usable, to more people, to the greatest extent possible. By thoughtfully addressing the developmental needs of the whole child, communities can provide meaningful opportunities for physical, cognitive, communicative, social/emotional, and sensory development for all children.  Design considerations and implications will be demonstrated through inspiring case examples to help communities champion water play as a valid solution to healthier, happier communities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Name 3 benefits of water play destinations for people of all ages and abilities
  • Define 2 key considerations when addressing accessibility and strategies to go beyond the minimum requirements to create an truly inclusive water play destination 
  • List at least 3 strategies/examples to intentionally address sensory, cognitive, communicative, physical, and social-emotional development in water play environments 
  • Create an advocacy statement that demonstrates how water play destinations can offer a valid solution to support community health and wellness initiatives.