Children's Wellness

Research continues to demonstrate that children having consistent, direct contact with nature are healthier, have higher skill and intelligence levels, and have fewer behavioral problems.

Benefits of attending these events:

  • Connect with others who are interested in connecting children with nature
  • Gain ideas for designing and implementing landscape features that interest children
  • Learn about plants and features that attract insects and wildlife

ExploreThe Nature Explore Classroom project, a collaboration of Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, provides guiding principles for designing outdoor spaces for children that is based upon their pioneering research.

Upcoming Children's Wellness Events


International Mud Day

Friday, June 29, 2018

International Mud Day is children and early childhood professionals all over the world celebrating nature, outdoors, and mess by getting really muddy.

Share your muddy stories and learn more:


Past Children's Wellness Events

Creating Landscapes for Children

July 18, 2010

This event is divided into two sessions: a presentation and a yard tour. Please attend one or both.


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Southeast Junior High School, Band Room (131)
2501 Bradford Drive, Iowa City  directions
Cost: Free

Yard Tour
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Yard of Tony Malkusak
Cost: Free

Tony Malkusak designs children’s playgrounds for his living. But it has been a joy, not work, creating a play garden space at his home for his children and their neighborhood friends.

You can learn about ways to create your own nature friendly outdoor play space for your children or grandchildren by attending  his presentation at South East Junior High and follow-up yard tour on the east side of Iowa City.

Tony will show you easy ways to get your children outside doing nature art, utilizing loose parts (natural and recycled), building, and much more. Children who play outside regularly are less stressed, have fewer behavior problems and improved attention spans. Bring your children or grandchildren to this Backyard Abundance event and enjoy the fun!

Both events are free. Refreshments provided.

See photos of the playspace: Go to Abundant Landscapes