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Reconnect Children to Nature with Play

  • Friday, 31 October 2014

NatureGrounds Conservation

NatureGrounds: Offering rich outdoor education during playtime 

Research reveals a strong relationship between daily exposure to nature and healthy mental and physical development. The problem – children and families aren't getting enough of it.

Author Richard Louv first coined the term "Nature-Deficit Disorder" in his book, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder”, where he describes the risks of being disconnected from nature. Some of the potential human costs are listed as: attention difficulties, obesity, lowered use of the senses and a weakened ecological literacy of the natural world. Thankfully, this can be reversed. 

Conservation Authorities play a pivotal role in environmental education by offering a place where people can explore the wonders of nature while learning about important environmental issues affecting our world today. Knowing that today’s youth represent the future in environmental decision-making, these nature centres continue to drum up fun ways to give children a greater understanding of nature. 

They are not alone. PlayCore, whose mission is to advance play through research, programs and partnerships, has come up with a way to blend nature with play in NatureGrounds: Creating & Retrofitting Play Environments: Best Practice Guidelines

Looking to bring in some play elements to an empty green space or wanting to revamp a current playground?  NatureGrounds provides best practice guidelines for designing play environments that deliberately bring nature back into children’s lives. Created in partnership with the Natural Learning Initiative, this 48-page guidebook outlines how to integrate manufactured play equipment and the living landscape to create richer play experiences.

Imagine being able to offer students both guided nature tours AND a dedicated play area where they can unwind while continuing to learn and be stimulated by the nature-themed play surroundings.  

Why consider naturalized playgrounds? Studies reveal a strong link between children's experiences being outdoors in nature and their psychological well-being and overall development. Here’s a few of the benefits:

  • Reconnecting with Nature: Research shows that when children play in environments that integrate nature with built environment, they reach higher levels of physical activity and engage in more social interaction.  
  • Added Value: Naturalization adds value to play equipment by enhancing visual qualities, thereby attracting children outdoors to use parks and school grounds.
  • Safe and Unique: Playground safety has reached the point where children may find playgrounds uninspiring. To counteract this trend, naturalization is an effective strategy to stimulate and encourage play.
  • Comfortable: Naturalization adds shade, and comfort — resulting in sustained repeat visits and a relaxed, playful social atmosphere.
  • Fresh Air!

Intrigued? Play! by Crozier is a proud partner of PlayCore. Contact a Play! Sales Associate to learn more about NatureGrounds and receive your COMPLIMENTARY guidebook. Our sales staff can help you implement these best practices into your playground design and incorporate nature themed play elements that will add to the natural appeal of your playground.

Enjoy nature play!

About PlayCore: PlayCore believes that play enriches lives and they are committed to enriching play and fitness for children, families and communities. They believe innovative programs like NatureGrounds are critical for challenging and inspiring the future innovation of play environments across the nation. PlayCore is the parent company of GameTime, North America's largest manufacturer of playground equipment and the renowned leader in play.

NatureGrounds kids

NatureGrounds guidebook

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Leah-Iverson-Portrait

LEAH IVERSON

Marketing Communications Manager

Leah is putting pen to paper in her role as Marketing Communications Manager for both Crozier’s Landmark and Play! divisions. Her main responsibilities include leading marketing and communication efforts through strategic articles, website content and by enhancing engagement on various social media platforms. read more

leah.iverson@crozier.ca