About The Workshop
Nature Play is a term that is used around the world to focus on connecting children to nature through outdoor spaces and programming. In this full day workshop, we will learn about the design principles needed to naturalize your playground and how to do it on the cheap. Participants will also learn how to extend curriculum outdoors while changing attitudes and views of how and where children learn and develop. Participants will experience 6 different outdoor activities. Handouts will be given at each activity.
We will begin the workshop with understanding the importance of connecting children to nature and cover what a natural playground is, why it is important, the most relevant data and research. After a brief introduction, we will divide the group into two sessions; designing a natural playground and extending curriculum outdoors. These sessions will also be repeated in the afternoon. To close out both sessions, participants will join in a goal setting exercise and seasonal bonus activities.
- Understanding the importance of children to nature. Research will be discussed and examples of natural playgrounds and outdoor learning environments from around the world will be viewed.
- Identifying the 5 design principals when creating a natural playground and how to include natural components for all areas of development.
- Learning how to use the outdoors as another learning environment and how to engage all areas of development outdoors. Plus learn how to use loose parts and make the most of what you already have.
- Transforming your space through the development of a plan is imperative to the success of your playground. Learn how to set realistic goals regarding playground changes and how to prioritize components in a phased approach.