Natural Playgrounds

by , posted on October 16th, 2012 in Games & Creative Play

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Have you heard of the new trend towards natural playgrounds? A friend sent me a link to a recent study that found natural playgrounds inspire more play. I love the concept and wonder what playgrounds of the future will look like. I imagine they’ll look more like playgrounds of the past—when playgrounds were called the woods/creeks/meadows. What do you think?

Oh and if you need a little inspiration for creating a natural plays pace in your own backyard, check out the Playscapes blog. They have tons of cool ideas! I’m digging this one here.

ps. We could really use a playground in our neighborhood. Do you have one where you live or do you also have to hop in the car to take the kids to one?

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5 Responses to “Natural Playgrounds”

  1. Kirsten Says:

    October 16th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I’ve noticed this just in the playgrounds in our town! When we go to the tire park – a playground in the midst of a State Park and surrounded by trees – the play is immediately more expansive, more imaginative, more energetic. Playgrounds are good, but PLAY is better. :)


  2. Joya Says:

    October 16th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I prefer a natural playground too! The Montessori schools that I went to back in the day and the Montessori schools my boys went to all had natural playgrounds in a nature/wooded setting. The playground area had tree houses, forts, ropes for swinging, rocks to climb on, dirt/sand to dig in and all were put together with log type construction, natural materials and it blended in so nicely. It reminds me of what I love about Montessori in that it is not over stimulating in terms of materials, plastic, colors, etc.


  3. Sandra Says:

    October 16th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    When we moved back to Vancouver last year one of our criteria for a ‘hood was walking distance from a playground. The girl is pretty active and needs to move. Actually, I believe that ALL kids should be physically active every day.

    So we live two blocks from a 13 acre park. There is a rec centre at the middle and two huge soccer/baseball/cricket fields. Plus a playground and a wading pool. And a big paved space for skateboarding and biking.

    We do drive to other playgrounds to mix it up a bit as well.


  4. Caroline Says:

    October 16th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    There should totally be a natural playground in this area. You know, THAT would be a great project for someone in the area. Team-up with some nature-based sculptors and have them create a “rock river” or something, etc. It could be one part community art project that would get a TON of play. It would probably get some good press for whoever dreamed this up! Nature based sculpture has grown SOOOO much and although much of it is NOT interactive–there are so many ways to make it so.

    SO awesome that you posted about this! You always have your finger on the pulse, Jen!



  5. Lara Says:

    October 16th, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    We are pretty lucky – we have 4 fun playgrounds within a short walking distance. None are natural though…


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