Playgrounds Part 5

ideas for natural play spaces
Here we have focused on pre-school playgrounds, that we love, to give you ideas for your outdoor play area. We love natural play areas for their inventiveness and as they do not have to cost a million dollars. They are also proven to support imaginative play, reduce stress and encourage love of the natural world and help develop language and collaboration skills. Outdoor environments are also important to children's development of independence and sense of wonder.

It is important to look at your ideas from a child's eye level and also really consider what the children you are designing for would like. Think about their opportunities for manipulation, exploration and experimentation. Hopefully these ideas will get you thinking creatively about what play spaces you can create.

From top left, in a clockwise direction:

A digging pit is so easy to make at Garden Gate Child Development Center

Make a magical fairy garden, you can sit in, using a circular planting under a tree with hanging coloured lanterns.

Planting has made special natural play areas at Kate Greenaway Nursery

Sensory path with different textures for barefoot walking includes leaves, stones, logs, and water at Stuarts Point Preschool.

Wooden pieces made into chairs and a large table at Matapihi Kindergarten

Loose parts like logs can be laid out in different ways using cut offs and long lengths at Earth Wrights

More inspiration about playground design on Pinterest and outdoor activities at Early Childhood Resources.


Niccola Drake said...

Great ideas! We are in the process of building a new nature based playground at school. I have made a few inexpensive things to go in our new playground like some moveable blackboards and an outdoor music wall. The children have made some bird feeders and enjoyed collecting lots of natural materials for inside the classroom and to use outside. These are all on my blog.

Lesley said...

These sound great, Niccola, and I really love how you have got the children involved.

Georgie said...

The photographs of the early childhood centres and ideas for gardens for children on your site are beautiful and inspiring me to fix up our outdoor play area.

Lesley @ early play said...

That's great Georgie and we would love to hear what you end up doing with your outdoor area.


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