Playground Designed by Sparks @ Play Enhances Socialization and Sensory Motor Skills Development

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (PRWEB) June 24, 2014

Owings Mills-based school for children on the autism spectrum, The Shafer Center for Early Intervention, opened a new playground for its students. Designed by Sparks @ Play, the space offers a therapeutic environment where children learn and explore through play, enhancing social interaction and sensory motor skills development.

Six months in the making, the 108-by-35-foot area features a track, open space for free exploration, and four independent play structures, offering various options to enhance those critical skills during early childhood development. The small play structure with roller slide, tire swing, OmniSpin Spinner and We-saw provide rich sensory and tactile experiences. Each structure is designed to support social interactions and engagement, as multiple children team-build and problem-solve to swing, spin or rock.

“This new play space is very much geared toward motor skills and social interaction, which is something The Shafer Center looks to enhance and bring out in many different ways,” said The Shafer Center Founder and President, Helen Shafer. “The playground is just another way we engage our kids to support their growth.”

The Shafer Center’s new playground equipment is accessible to children with a wide range of abilities. Safety features including full seatbacks and footrests on the We-saw, and a speed regulator on the OmniSpin Spinner provide comfort and security for children with mobile sensitivities. Owings Mills-based playground design and installation company, Sparks @ Play, has completed several playground projects catering to special needs communities, including Rosedale Recreation Center. Sparks @ Play often designs inclusive play spaces that are accessible and usable to the widest array of people, ages and abilities.

“We were happy to work with The Shafer Center to provide an exceptional outdoor play area that allows students to learn, explore and interact with their peers in a safe and experientially rich environment,” said Sparks @ Play Principal and Marketing VP, Stephanie Sparks. “We very much believe in Mr. Rogers’ philosophy that play is the work of childhood.”

Please direct all media inquiries to Josie Hankey at 410-420-2001 or by email at Josie(dot)Hankey(at)FallstonGroup(dot)com.

The Shafer Center for Early Intervention is located in Owings Mills, Md. Children at The Center range in age from two to eight years old. The Shafer Center also provides off-site intervention services for children well into their adolescent years. The Maryland Department of Education has approved The Shafer Center for Early Intervention as a non-public school.

About The Shafer Center
The Shafer Center for Early Intervention knows that being the parent of a child with special needs can be challenging. By being a central resource for families seeking education, assessment and treatment, The Shafer Center replaces fear and uncertainty with hope and knowledge. The center’s unique approach and methods improve a child’s opportunity to succeed, and in turn, make it a rewarding experience for the entire family. The Shafer Center for Early Intervention accomplishes this by integrating three vital components that make its programs the optimal choice for treating children with autism spectrum disorders:

  •     A Whole-Child Approach
  •     A Multi-Disciplinary Team
  •     A Focus on Maintenance and Generalization of Skills

For more information about The Shafer Center for Early Intervention and its unique environment, visit the Center’s website at

About Sparks @ Play
Sparks @ Play was founded in 2009 to provide excellence in playground equipment, site amenities and outdoor exercise equipment. Working in conjunction with Hunt Valley Contractors, Inc. we offer full service playground planning and installation. Sparks @ Play is making the world a better place through play. We serve clients throughout Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with exceptional products to enhance landscapes and play areas. We offer turnkey capabilities in design, supply and install products. Our product lines include Landscape Structures, Inc. play equipment, Poligon Shelters, EasyTurf, SofSurfaces, Zeager Bros and Freenote Harmony Park. For more information about Sparks @ Play, visit