Play has such a profound impact on ALL of us, at every stage of life, and Magical Bridge staff design every playground so every visitor, young and old, experiences the health and wellness benefits of playing in our magical space. Staff intentionally divides Magical Bridge into zones, because predictability matters for many who play here.
Swinging creates vestibular stimulation, activating the inner fluids in our ear canal that are critical to maintaining body posture and equilibrium, especially beneficial for people with various autism spectrum disorders. Swinging restores balance to the vestibular system, provides proprioceptive input (deep pressure), and also soothes, relaxes and increases concentration.
SLIDING AND CLIMBING ZONE
Sliding and climbing activates our vestibular systems, which contribute to our sense of balance and spatial orientation. Vestibular input coordinates movement of our eyes, head and body, which affects our body’s balance, muscle tone, visual-spatial perception, auditory-language perception and emotional security.
Music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function. In children, it motivates interaction, facilitates socialization and improves social skills. The brain processes music in a different area than speech and language, therefore, for those who have difficulty communicating verbally, music provides a way to express themselves in a non-verbal manner.
Rotary vestibular input, caused from spinning, is the most powerful form of sensory input that the brain can process. Just 15 minutes of vestibular input can have a 6-8 hour impact on the brain.
The heart of Magical Bridge, the Kindness Corner is a gathering place for reflection, compassion and education. Magical Bridge offers a dedicated section of the playground to help spark conversations and lessons about making friends with someone who is “different,” modeling positive behavior, and encouraging kids to be up-standers and address the issues of bullying.
PLAYHOUSE + PLAYSTAGE
Through pretend-play, children experience the full range of their senses and feelings, how their bodies move through space, and how their imaginations can create alternate worlds of existence. Since 1987, Barbara Butler Artist-Builder, Inc. has created over 600 unique play structures — and their first wheelchair-accessible, two-story playhouse and treehouse was designed and built especially for Magical Bridge.