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39016 - Conifer Maze

Article: Outdoor Preschools Bring Affordable Education to Parks  

Preschool settings are shifting from indoor classrooms to outside at local parks. The open-air setting increases children's engagement in nature and also provides parents with an affordable preschool alternative. Run by city park departments, privately, and by organizations such as Tiny Trees, outdoor preschools provide a new experience for children to progress in education as well as advocate for healthy lifestyles.

Read more about this new wave of outdoor schooling from the article Outdoor Preschools Bring Affordable Education to Parks!

Play! by Crozier offers outdoor play equipment for the little ones to encourage imagination, creativity and social and cognitive development. See our full line HERE!

SOURCE: SHARABLE article by Cat Johnson.

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GameTime releases 2016 Trends Guide in Outdoor Recreation  

GameTime, North America's largest manufacturer of playground equipment, has been leading the way in creating new and exciting play opportunities since 1929. With more resources available than their competitors, GameTime is constantly developing new research programs to better understand how children play and to continuously evolve their play environments. 

Part of GameTime’s ongoing commitment to enriching childhood through play is to identify key trends in outdoor recreation. They’ve hit the mark with the 2016 Trends Guide, which outlines the Top 10 Trends in Play! The 2016 Trends Guide is the result of dozens of interviews with park and recreations directors across the country, as well as with parents, children and other community stakeholders.

As the proud supplier for GameTime in Manitoba, Ontario, NWT, Nunavut and the Maritimes, Play! by Crozier is happy to keep you informed with the latest trends in outdoor recreation by offering the 2016 Trends Guide to you FREE of charge!

Water Odyssey

Incorporate Water & Nature Play at Conservation Areas

Exploring a Conservation Area to learn about nature has always been a popular field trip for kids of all grade levels. Although it's almost the end of the school year, there’s still plenty of opportunities to attract children and families to Conservation Centres throughout the summer months.

Consider combining nature exploration and water play this summer by adding a spray park to your Conservation Centre. Water Odyssey, a division of PlayCore and the leading designer and manufacturer of interactive water features, is offering an affordable water-fun to beat the heat this summer. Many local Conservation Authorities are choosing to replace old swimming ponds with spray parks built in natural wilderness surroundings to increase outdoor engagement. 

See the water fun for yourself!

Conserve Water + Save Money!

As the largest manufacturer of modular pumping and water treatment systems, Water Odyssey is committed to water recycling with its Hydro Launch Pod system. The compact Hydro Launch Pod houses the mechanical workings of a spray park and is unlike complex systems as it uses NO electricity and requires little maintenance, making it an ideal choice for budget sensitive projects and unsupervised facilities. Since the flow rate and flow duration is adjustable, you can choose to reduce the amount of water going to each feature to save on water usage. A tour of the spray park would make a perfect addition to a water safety program.

Nature Play + Education!

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We can’t forget about nature! For some kids, a trip to their local Conservation Authority can be the first time they develop a greater understanding and appreciation for nature. GameTime, North America's largest manufacturer of playground equipment (and also a division of PlayCore), offers a revolutionary collection of play products called “PlayTrails.

As children and families explore a trail, they encounter nature-themed play pockets that promote physical activity and fun, as well as educational signage with fun facts (see bugs and leaves examples below) that allow kids to discover fascinating facts about nature through observation. See the entire nature-inspired line HERE.

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Play! by Crozier, a division of Crozier Enterprises, is a proud distributor of Water Odyssey and GameTime’s leading-edge and innovative product lines. Contact your local Play! Sales Associate to find out how you can implement water & nature play at your Conservation Centre this summer!

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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. 

Boost children's love for the outdoors with Pathways for Play

In today’s world, most children live in urban cities far from nature. As lot sizes continue to shrink – backyard green space becomes sparse. For some kids, a trip to their local conservation authority can be the first time they develop a greater understanding and appreciation for nature. 

While trails still exist in the suburbs, country and even in the city, only a small portion of children are making use of them. Numerous studies state that being in nature greatly improves physical and mental health, but how do we get children interested?

PlayCore, whose mission is to advance play through research, programs and partnerships, believes the best way for children to connect with their natural environment is to combine learning with play. PlayCore has teamed up with the Natural Learning Initiative to offer Pathways for Play: Best Practices Guidelines to integrate play - critical for children's health - into walkable, bikeable, shared use community pathway networks infused with "play pockets”.

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Pathways for Play: Innovative way to bring play into nature

There’s nothing like getting outdoors for a refreshing walk in nature to de-stress and improve your health, both physically and mentally. When communities offer natural environments such as parks, trails and other green spaces, people are more likely to walk and be physically active.

According to Active Healthy Kids Canada, the amount of children enjoying the benefits of walking is on the decline. When it comes to walking to school, studies found that while 58 per cent of parents walked to school when they were young, only 28 per cent of their children do so today.

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Reconnect kids to nature by blending play equipment with landscape 

Think back to some of your fondest childhood memories involving nature play. Do you remember your excitement and laughter as you built your first tree house, splashed in the creek, dug dirt holes and swung on branches? 

PlayCore, whose mission is to advance play through research, programs and partnerships, recognizes the multiple positive impacts that unstructured nature play has had on children generation by generation.

Increasingly packed schedules, the allure of electronic plugged-in play and a lack of unregulated green space are threatening the future of nature play. Thankfully, PlayCore has stepped in with a solution with NatureGrounds: Creating & Retrofitting Play Environments: Best Practice Guidelines.

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Research reveals a strong link between children's experiences of nature and their psychological well being and overall development. PlayCore's Nature Play Funding Guide is specifically designed for communities that are planning, retrofitting, or creating naturalized play environments. This resource provides an overview of funding sources that can potentially help intentionally integrate child-friendly play material with your manufactured equipment not only increase the aesthetic beauty of the playspace, but increase physical activity levels of the users, enhance play value, and increase environmental sustainability. By incorporating the best practices outlined in our NatureGrounds Program, communities can open doors for funding options, partnerships, and community social capital.

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Designing Play Environments That Integrate Manufactured Play Equipment With The Living Landscape

A growing body of research reveals a strong link between children’s experiences of being outdoors in nature and their psychological well-being and overall development. PlayCore has partnered with the Natural Learning Initiative, College of Design, NC State University to develop NatureGrounds Best Practice guidelines to deliberately design nature back into children’s lives to benefit children’s play, physical activity levels, and to create richer play experiences for all users. Visit NatureGrounds.org to access the searchable plant database and learn more.

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