Kids Together Playground: Summer Fun with Sand and Water

Kids Together Playground at Marla Dorrel Park, Cary

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Located in Cary, NC, Kids Together Playground at Marla Dorrel Park is a universally-designed playground that provides children with a diversity of play opportunities. The park was completed in 2000 through a partnership with the non-profit organization Kids Together, Inc. and the Town of Cary.

 Kids Together Playground (KTP) at Marla Dorrel Park opened in June 2000. The playground and park are owned and maintained by the Town of Cary. The community nonprofit, Kids Together, Inc., remains involved in the management, governance, and financing of the space.

 Diverse play settings are important for meeting individual and developmental needs, and for fulfilling preferences relating to learning styles, personality types, friendship patterns, and culture. KTP includes three play zones: preschool play, school age discovery, and school age active play. Each zone incorporates a variety of elements to meet the diverse needs of its users. Children desiring more motion and activity can use the swings or the climbing structure that incorporates varying difficulty levels. Children hoping for less action can use the park’s quieter areas for watching insects or playing alone. The playground incorporates diversity of texture and material with its sand table, sand river, sand scoopers, and water sources in the sand play areas. One of KTP’s most popular and recognizable features is its climbable dragon sculpture (named KATAL for Kids Are Together At Last). While the playground incorporates a diversity of spaces, it remains easy to navigate for children and families.

KTP integrates manufactured play equipment and the living landscape, including nature in the form of flowers, plants, trees, surface materials, and animals. According to Marla Dorrel, founder and former president of Kids Together, Inc., the park gives individuals a feeling of “communing with nature.” Jackson described how nature contributed to the relaxing feeling in the park. While some busy playgrounds can feel chaotic, KTP’s inclusion of nature contributes to its pleasant atmosphere, even when many families are playing there.