Larger stones and boulders can be used as a kind of climbing equipment. Climbing stones more than 18 inches above the ground surface should meet standard use zone and safety surface requirements.
Log seats are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to improve and diversify play affordances in your outdoor learning environment.
Summers are hot. Here are some ideas for beating the heat and making the most of our hot summers.
Embankment slides have become popular settings within naturalized outdoor learning environments. If not properly considered and installed, they may not function as intended. Guidance is provided concerning installation, use zones, steepness, plantings and avoiding erosion.
Natural building play areas are one of the classic affordable free play settings. What might the children create today; will it be a fort, a miniature village, a dragon's nest? Give them the materials in a designated natural building area and see for yourself.
Built from locally sourced logs, branches, and sticks, Natural Playhouses are an affordable and creative alternative to the playhouses one normally purchases from catalogs.
Natural materials afford an array of open-ended play opportunities. Some playscapes are rich with natural materials, while others may need to have natural materials to be gathered and brought in.
Tree cookies are simple, affordable, and effective solutions for defining paths and providing versatile play props in a naturalized outdoor learning environment.
Autumn is a magical time of year. Leaves change to brilliant yellows, oranges and reds. An abundance of natural loose parts fall to the ground and are now within reach. If inspiration is needed for creative outdoor play ideas, try connecting the stories and themes of children's books to autumn outdoor play.
As temperatures start to drop, so does our motivation to go outside and play. A greater effort is required to prepare children for outdoor play, but with a little planning and the proper clothing it can be well worth the extra effort. As our friends in Sweden say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.”
Sand play is one of the most valuable natural behavior settings for children from toddlerhood through the early school years. However, to stop sand from spreading across other outdoor learning environment settings, follow the simple steps provided.
Grass mazes are composed of informal arrangements of ornamental "clumping" grasses. Grass mazes support chase games like tag and hide-and-seek, and provide space for intimate conversations, rest, and reflection. Design guidance for grass mazes is provided.
To beat the summer temperatures and transform nearly any overhead structure into a misting station all you need is about $30, a water spigot, and a little time to hook up the system. Setting up the system is simple and should only take a few hours to purchase materials and install the parts.
Adequate protection from the sun is essential for the health and comfort of young children outdoors. Shade can be provided in various ways, including vegetation, structures, and temporary shade.
Springtime is ideal for outdoor play. After a cold, gray winter, the blue skies, new leaves, and warm breezes beckon everyone to come out and play for a while. In the excitement of a new season of growth, here are some activities to make the most of all that spring has to offer.