In broad terms, nature play is interaction with natural landscape features, landforms, natural materials, and plants. Nature play encourages gross-motor, fine-motor, proprioceptive, and vestibular movement along with sensory-rich dramatic, creative, and cognitive engagement.
In recent years, a drive to reconnect people with nature through play has prompted the development of natural playgrounds, playscapes, nature play areas, and outdoor learning environments. Designed to put users in direct contact with nature, with a focus on the value of play, these spaces are gaining popularity among municipalities, school districts, and child-care centers across North America, and beyond.
Statistics and academic research show a number of benefits among children who spend time in nature-rich environments, including:
The definitive resource for planning strategies that support the incorporation of nature play and natural learning spaces into built environments, such as parks, schools, health-care facilities, and science and cultural centers.