On April 18, 2015, the new Magical Bridge Playground opened in Palo Alto. It’s the first of 34 playgrounds in Palo Alto to specifically accommodate children with developmental disabilities.
The entire playground was designed and built so kids of all abilities can play and socialize. We can’t convey just how much we appreciate the City of Palo Alto creating this play space.
What the Playground Holds: Soft Surfaces, 7 Play Zones, Calming Stations
Last week we sent one of our Senior Behavioral Program Supervisors out to see what the park offered children & parents. He attended with one of our clients, who had originally gone to Magical Bridge on Opening Day…but the playground was so packed they couldn’t do much.
They found it still busy, even on a Thursday afternoon! The playground is broken up into zones: Swinging Zone, Playhouse, Slide Mound, Music Area, etc. All the surfaces are completely flat, made from soft rubbery material. Perfect for wheelchairs and walkers.
In fact, you’ll find wheelchair ramps everywhere, and very few stairs. You can even push a child’s wheelchair onto the Merry-Go-Round, lock their chair into place, and give it a spin!
If your child becomes overstimulated or startled, there are Calming Stations throughout the playground. Bring your child to the closest station whenever they need to rest & calm down.
Inclusive Experience: Everyone Can Enjoy the Magical Bridge
The Huffington Post published a wonderful article about the Magical Bridge this past week. It tells the story of how the playground came to be – when a mother saw the need for an inclusive play area 6 years ago.
Inclusive Playground Makes Playtime Magical For Kids of All Abilities – Huffington Post
Now it’s here for all of us to enjoy.
All of our clients’ children can use the Magical Bridge Playground, in one manner or another. So can their siblings, whether they’re affected or not.
That was a big thing we discovered while at the playground – there were lots of neurotypical kids playing too. Some right alongside their special-needs brothers, sisters & friends.
The playground is open to everyone, with no encumbrances and no judgments. Visitors are very open—just out having a good time. It’s a great place for parents to meet other parents & socialize.
We saw a group of moms chatting while their children played. Like you’d see at any park. It truly is a “magical bridge” for everyone.
A Place to Enrich Your Child’s Life – and Playtime
The Magical Bridge Playground is located within Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, at 600 East Meadow Road. You’ll find plenty of parking at each access point. The playground and park are open dawn to dusk. Ideal for family events, picnics and more.
The playground also has a Facebook Page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/MagicalBridge
We encourage all of our parents – bring your children to Magical Bridge! They’ll have a wonderful time, and so will you.
Not only is it perfect for everyone to enjoy, but Magical Bridge can even aid their therapy. Locations like a playground vary a child’s routine, encouraging new experiences. Incorporating games while you’re at the playground helps them stay calm & focused.
If you’re curious about ways to do this, please ask your A is for Apple supervisor.
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Join Us at the Autism Walk on May 16
Please join us at the “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” event on May 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We’re meeting at History Park (1650 Senter Road) in San Jose. The Walk starts at 11.
If you’d like to show your support, register to walk with us on our Team A is for Apple Page.
Your kids can enjoy our booth in the Resource Fair, with a photo booth, bubbles . . . Gizmo & Ace, our miniature schnauzers, will be there too!
Plus you can enter our Raffle. We’ll have great prizes available:
- iPad Mini
- $100 Amazon gift card
- Sprouts gift card
Raffle tickets will be $1 each. 100% of the proceeds benefit Autism Speaks.
We invite all of our parents to come walk with us. If you can’t make it out, donations are gratefully accepted at our Team A is for Apple page.
Inside A is for Apple
Our Supervisors Volunteer Weekends to Spread the Word about “Walk Now for Autism Speaks”
On Saturday, April 18, A is for Apple Supervisors ran a booth to raise awareness about the upcoming “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” event.
They set up a table at Sprouts of Sunnyvale, spoke with shoppers for several hours, and sold tickets for our May 16 Raffle (see the prize list above).
They sold 50 tickets, and also received $92 in donations from caring shoppers. Everyone who came to the booth wanted to donate after we told them about the Autism Walk. Some asked where the event would be held; that’s why we put the reminder in above.
A big thank you to Sprouts of Sunnyvale! The manager kindly let them set up the table outside his store. He even donated the Sprouts Gift Card for our Raffle.
Also, a big thank you to our supervisors for volunteering their weekend. It was very hot out—but that doesn’t stop our commitment to helping children thrive!