Playworks strives to embody our core values—Healthy Play, Healthy Community, Respect, and Inclusion—in every game we play. This year, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation connected us with Laureus Ambassador Bob Lujano, a US Paralympic athlete, a rugby national champion, and an expert in the field of inclusion. Playworks is proud to present tips from Bob Lujano for adapting games to make play as inclusive as possible for students with special needs.

Tips for Making Play Inclusive

  1. Many of the games in the Playworks Games Library are naturally inclusive: they do not focus too much on knowing specific sporting skills and they are non-competitive. Make sure that games like this are regularly in the mix when adults are leading games, and make sure children have opportunities to learn and lead them. Examples include Colors, I Like My Neighbor Who, I See, I See, and Rhythm Detective.
  2. Read these blogs on adapting games for students with ADHD, Autism, and Wheelchairs. Use the tips as a resource–not as must do’s. No two students are exactly the same. What works for one student with Autism may not work for another. Observe your students and decide which adaptations work best.
  3. Learn from the people who know best. Engage parents, caregivers, and students themselves. Many students can tell you what they need to play, and if they can’t tell you, parents and caregivers may be able to offer insight.
  4. Teachers, support staff, physical education teachers–there are many other adults who can help build inclusive community. Ask what adaption ideas have worked for them in the past. Ask for help ensuring students with varying abilities are included in games and activities at recess and in the classroom. Make inclusion a team effort.

Blogs in this series:


Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA Ambassador Bob Lujano meeting with Playworks Junior Coaches in Minneapolis.


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