Girl playing tic-tac-toeChildren with cognitive impairments might have greater difficulty with one or more types of mental tasks than a peer who is typically developing. There are too many types of cognitive impairments to list here, each unique to the individual. Cognitive impairments can impact a child's memory, judgement, perception, planning, orientation, concentration, or attention.

Simple things can be done to support children with cognitive impairments in your playspace:

  • Design for safety
  • Include a variety of challenge levels in your playspace activity areas
  • Be sure to have a variety of activities to hold attention
  • Use color-coded pathways to support memory of areas within your playspace

Helpful links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2005). Intellectual Disability.

Learning Disabilities Association of America,

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2004). Mental Retardation.

National Down Syndrome Society,

(Photo courtesy of PlayWorld)