Kilikili: Play Areas for Children with Special Needs

Special play structuresa

Rebecca Krook, a play facilitator for kids with disabilities says “When kids play, they remember. They may not be aware they are learning, but they sure are aware they are

Rebecca Krook, a play facilitator for kids with disabilities says “When kids play, they remember. They may not be aware they are learning, but they sure are aware they are having fun. When you have a good belly laugh with your siblings or parents or friends, that stays with you. And the great thing is that it comes so naturally…if we only let it.”

Kilikili, with its name meaning the warbling laughter of child in Kannada, strives to give that belly laugh to children with special needs.

A Trust formed by the parents of children with special needs, driven by volunteers and supported by professionals, Kilikili aims at creating inclusive play spaces that will be accessible to all children, regardless of their ability which acts as a first step in creating a more inclusive, non-discriminative society.

The Plan

Kilikili wants to create a society where all children, all people are respected for their unique abilities, where diversity is viewed as a social strength. In doing so Kilikili wants to modify the existing play spaces like parks in such a way that they can accommodate children with special needs. They have constructed unique play structures that are completely wheelchair accessible with a ramp, a merry-go-round and a slide along with other equipments such as wheelchair sand tables, safe swings, a sensory integration track, a tyre tunnel and an accessible basketball pole. They plan on creating more such structures throughout the city of Bangalore.

Special play structures
Special play structures

In their attempt to be self sustaining, Kilikili offers a range of consultancy services for offices, schools, institutions and play spaces in order to have inclusive play spaces. The various kinds of services comprise of Access Audits and Accessibility Solutions, Designing inclusive play spaces, Designing Play and Recreation Programs for children and Enhancing children’s participation.

Children at the special play areas
Children at the special play areas

The Process

Kilikili articulates its ideas of play spaces by asking the children with special needs, their peers, sibling, parents, teachers and other professionals what they think needs to go into the design of these play spaces. The design team then conducts a visit to the potential site and then works on converting the plan into action. Kilikili works with BBMP, the local Municipal Corporation of Bangalore to develop these play spaces. Kilikili also organizes school programs and other event like Family Day.  It organizes an Integration and Inclusion event that reaches out to children from special and regular schools. This aims at helping the children of all abilities learn to interact with each other.

The Impact

The impact of an organization like Kilikili is not quantifiable. It can only be measured by the interest people take in it. Kilikili is a completely volunteer driven organization. It provides people with an opportunity to contribute to the society in a unique way. The parents of kids with special needs are also equally excited about the initiative. The children with special needs, who experience a direct impact, have different stories to tell.

To read the stories and know more about Kilikili, visit