Playscape EntryNature-based playscapes are being built across the country in response to the growing disconnect between children and nature. These beautiful and educational environments can be created on landscapes of any size from playgrounds at schools and childcare centers to residential yards.

Features often include these interactive elements:

  • Natural musical instruments inspire muisic, song, and dance
  • Climbing structures develop balance and gross motor skills
  • Wooden blocks of various sizes encourage building skills
  • Rain barrels and small waterways teach water flow, catchment, and conservation
  • Garden areas filled with food, flowers, and insects develop patience and deep observation skills
  • Art tables and walls develop drawing and writing abilities

Playscape EquipmentResearch

The well-researched benefits of children spending time in nature include:

  • Increased knowledge and skill development in all subject areas
  • Increased health and wellness
  • Decreased behavioral problems
  • Appreciation and understanding of nature

You can create these natural playscapes in your own landscape. Use these publications and websites to learn about the research and get ideas for your design.

World Forum Foundation: Children's Disconnection from Nature
World Forum Foundation: Early Childhood Nature Toolkit for Educators (pdf - large)
Benefits of Gardening for Children (pdf)
Center for Ecoliteracy
Children and Nature Network
Nature Explore Families Club
Accredited Schools Online: Going Green at School

Enaging Children in Nature

The information below can provide ideas for creating nature-based playspaces and engaging children in nature.

Backyard Abundance Playscape Design Services (local)
Taproot Nature Experience (local)
Nature Explore Classrooms
Sustainable Schoolyards
Nature Explore Video: Nature For Families
Video: Starting a School Garden