Monday, May 3
Natural Playground Photos
This weekend we visited the playground. Here are some pictures of our public elementary school playground. In the past two years they have been working at changing it over to a natural playground.
Bench or balance beam
There are two of these little play houses.
Boulders for climbing, and slides.
A waterway sits on a slope and draining water constantly flows through.
Seating and "stage"
Labyrinth and swings for younger children
Slide for younger children
A little info about natural playgrounds:
Natural playgrounds are very different from traditional playgrounds for a few reasons. Traditional playgrounds emphasize active, or 'gross motor' play using large and more expensive equipment. They also have moving parts and tall structures. Aside from the aesthetic beauty of a natural playground, natural playgrounds focus on creating a space to emphasize social play (pretending) and constructive play (building). It is said that children use more imagination with the use of a natural playground as well as being able to experience the sights, smells, textures, and sounds that come from a natural environment. Children in a natural playground are exposed to native plants and trees as well as sand and water. Part of the reason for the growing interest in natural playgrounds comes from the lack of interaction children now have with nature and the natural environment. If you haven't already, check out the book Last Child in the Woods or the short webcast from by author Richard Louv on the side of this blog.