In 2011, the Simms/Mann Family Foundation partnered with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) to develop the Simms/Mann Family Foundation Playground. The playground at CHLA is a play space for children of all abilities. It features a play structure, interactive activity wall, sensory ocean wall, sound play with musical instruments, and playful bronze sculptures.
In addition to a common play area, this highly accessible playground is an inclusive, fun, and enriching space for children with physical disabilities that often sideline them in traditional play areas. The space is designed to accommodate individuals with wheelchairs, leg braces, and crutches, and create sound and visual stimulation for children with hearing or vision loss.
At the Simms/Mann Family Foundation playground, all children who are CHLA patients or visitors have the opportunity to feel more comfortable in the hospital setting by experiencing the power of play. Play is so fundamental to a child’s healthy development that the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends pediatricians prescribe play in early childhood. Play is not frivolous; in addition to offering fun and joy, it enhances brain structure and promotes executive function, which allows people to pursue goals and ignore distractions.
Our main goal was to create a space that addressed specific disabilities, but also provided a common play area that’s fun for siblings as well.”