Natural Playspaces focus on creating outdoor areas for children that encourage exploration and experimentation in a safe environment. Simple, essential materials provide opportunities for children of diverse learning capabilities to engage with nature. Water, sand, soil, pebbles and stones create infinite opportunities for splashing, sifting, carrying, and sharing.

Native vegetation, including trees, shrubs, flowering plants, and grasses create relaxing places for shade, shelter, and fun, and also give children a chance to experience the habitat that naturally occurs in their own community. Mounded grassy areas offer natural, easy opportunities for climbing and crawling. Logs, stumps, boulders and hay bales also provide enjoyable climbing experiences, and can become fun seating arrangements as well.

Natural playspaces for children flow freely from inside the building to the outside, allowing children to perceive outdoor natural areas as an integrated part of their learning experience. All elements are designed to allow investigation and discovery by children with different learning styles and special needs without accessibility features being obvious.

Early Childhood Facility, east side of Columbus Ohio

Early Childhood Facility, northwest Columbus Ohio

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council