As a pediatric occupational therapist treating children with Sensory Processing Disorder, also called Sensory Integration Dysfunction, for the last 15 years in Ogden, Utah, I realized how difficult it was to find parks that provided playground equipment that facilitated more intense sensory input, especially vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (muscles and joints) input. In our age of concern for safety, it is hard to find parks with swings, spinning toys, places to climb… Parents ask me over and over where they can find playgrounds with more than just a slide. I’m on a mission to find them and post them here to help families find and use them to help their children! So, I’m starting with my favorite one in Ogden, Utah, my hometown and the city I’ve fallen in love with as an adult.
OGDEN’S HIGH ADVENTURE PARK (P.S. The Ogden City website pictures in no way come close to showing how awesome this playground is!)
This playground is located right beside the Ogden River Parkway on 18th Street and Grant Avenue. It is also just west of some yummy Ogden restaurants. Stop for some pizza at Slackwater Pizzeria or a sandwich at Kneaders Bakery. And don’t forget that Ogden’s favorite Farr Better Ice Cream is a couple blocks away on 21st Street! (The bummer about this park is there are no restrooms, so remember these locations are super close!) There is also plenty of room and many trees along the river to provide shade for a picnic during the warm months.
- traditional swings that move back and forth, most with traditional seats and a couple infant, full bucket seats with plenty of space to swing as high as you want
- lounging seats that swing or bounce very minimally, but may be great for those more hesitant to enjoy the movement
- single disc swing that are suspended from one point to also allow for spinning
- a really fun rope net disc swing that swings back and forth with room for 2-3 people to swing together, another good idea for a hesitant mover because this swing gives more stability and has room for an adult or older child to sit with her if she is nervous
- not really a swing, but a fun double glider that 2 people can use and stand on a small platform and push yourself (or be pushed) across flattened U-shaped poles going back and forth and up higher on the ends as you push harder (My older kids really loved this!)
- a couple set of monkey bars
- several rope ladders
- several children’s sized climbing walls
- a couple tall, large rope climbing structures
- rope bridges
- vertical rope nets to climb across
- vertical ropes with discs to climb on and walk from rope to rope with the disc as stepping stones
- a cool climbing net that is a suspended bowl shape with a rope ladder to climb up and inside
- several different toys to stand or sit and spin around a pole that you pull to spin yourself or have someone push you (spinning around a single point or pole gives the most intense vestibular input)
- angled spinning toys positioned so that a child can move his body weight and start spinning himself (Great physics lessons going on!)
- another fun round, bowl-shaped rope net with a pole coming out from the center big enough for several children to spin in (This is has a larger radius around the center, so the spinning isn’t quite as intense.)
- an large, angled, open, round disc supported by four poles underneath where children push to get it spinning, then jump on (This is a great toy for social interaction and problem solving with a group of children. The child development nerd in me comes out and has watched and studied social, sensory, and motor development of the children playing on this exact type of toy for hours!)
No, I won’t forget to mention there are slides also, including one tall, steep one and another small, short one. 🙂
The river, rocks and riverbank right next to the playground would be a good tactile experience for your child to take her shoes off, wade in the water, throw rocks, dig in the dirt… If you really wanted to make it an adventure, you can ride bikes or go for a walk to and from the park along the Ogden River Parkway.
LOVE this park! My kids and I will be going back again and again for more exuberant play and adventure! This park will always be my first recommendation for great playgrounds for children with sensory processing difficulties in Ogden, Utah. What adventures have you had at Ogden’s High Adventure Park?
If you are concerned with your child’s sensory processing, I provide personalized OT services in your own home in Weber, Morgan, Davis counties in Utah.