Putting Nature into Play

Research reveals a strong link among children’s experiences in nature, their psychological well being, and overall development. It is important to encourage outdoor play and find ways to reconnect children with nature. This innovative program discusses research-based benefits of combining the manufactured play environment with the living landscape and putting nature into play. It also demonstrates how to implement best practices of design and discusses strategies for overcoming potential barriers, and how to naturalize existing and new playgrounds. Participants will walk away with an array of educational resources, funding sources, and practical ideas on how to get started.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize current research and national trends that support children’s engagement with nature and encourage communities to reconnect with the outdoors.
  • Define at least three best practices for designing or retrofitting naturalized play environments that integrate manufactured play equipment and the living landscape.
  • Summarize the many health, developmental, and environmental benefits that playground naturalization brings to communities.
  • Describe available resources and develop an action plan for project implementation that addresses management, maintenance, partnerships, volunteers, and potential funding for sustainability.

This program is developed in partnership with PlayCore and The Natural Learning Initiative, a research and design extension program of the College of Design, NC State University.

Read the Program!

Request NatureGrounds to learn more.