Natural Outdoor Playscape
Vibrant Natural Playscapes and Playspaces support physical and mental benefits of playing outside for both children and adults. When children learn early in life about the joys of nature, they are more likely to hold on to those values as adults and become stewards of the environment. When adults enjoy time in nature whether in an urban, suburban or rural setting at home or at work, there is a sense of freedom from the frenzy of modern life. Creative nature play is good for building character, positive self-esteem, collaboration and life-affirming habits of wellness and learning.
What do we consider when developing Natural Playgrounds, Learning Landscapes and Gardens?
The focus of learning in the outdoors goes far beyond standards and proficiencies. Here are a few questions to consider that may help you determine and support the merit of a project and its sustainability.
- Is the project concrete, interesting, relevant to the children or other audience, and ripe with possibilities?
- How does the project allow children to freely learn, explore, play, investigate, use inquiry, apply basic skills, knowledge and dispositions across multiple content areas and target age(s)?
- How does the project allow for varied activities during different parts of the day and different times of year?
- Is the project sensitive to and how does it incorporate the cultural context of children and families?
- How does the project evoke and involve teamwork and community building within your class, school, district and/or greater community?
- Are the children and staff familiar with the project? Were they/will they be part of the design and implementation process?
- Are the staff knowledgeable and comfortable guiding children outdoors? … knowledgeable and comfortable about educational topic(s)?
- What is your plan to involve a diversity of stakeholders with both supporting and skeptical viewpoints during the different project stage(s)?
- How will you assure ample resources are available (funds, supplies, volunteers, community and administration/parent support) to support long-term sustainability?
Let us guide you through the process. Schedule a consult or workshop to get started.