Our Nature Based Playground
"Once upon a time in the not-so-distant past, many children left the adult world on a daily basis and entered an outdoor world filled with fantasy and improvisation. Using sticks, branches, logs, sand, dirt, water and other natural materials, they built castles, houses, ships, rockets. As they ran, jumped, dug, climbed, slid, twirled and whirled, their imaginations took them across the prairie in covered wagons, up the tallest mountain, into outer space, and on high sea adventures. At the end of the day, they returned indoors dirty and tired but feeling happy and confident, competent and full of stories." (Nature Explore, 2014)
Recent studies in the area of brain growth and development emphasize the importance of providing children with time to learn and grow in a sensory rich outdoor setting. Children who have ample time to explore, play and learn outdoors are more calm and are more successful in school. Also, current early childhood research emphasizes the importance of unstructured play for young children (as opposed to team sports or games with imposed rules).
So many children today spend more time indoors and playing on electronic devices than ever before, gone are the days of being outside from breakfast to dinner. We want to be able to give the children a safe space where they can learn about their environment, play in the dirt, balance on logs and use their imaginations instead of having their play dictated by equipment. This is just one more way we hope to inspire curiosity, imagination and creativity in all children.