What's so special about nature inspired playground equipment, you ask? Well, let's start with the fact that it encourages physical, cognitive, and social growth while strengthening an appreciation for nature and the environment around us. With nature-based playground equipment, children can explore, create, and imagine while experimenting with natural resources.
Other benefits include:
Encouraging Physical Activity: Nature-based playgrounds include elements such as bark, pebbles and logs, which encourage and promote physical activity, movement, and exercise. Children can dig, climb, collect, and be creative, enhancing their physical fitness, motor skills and coordination.
Enhancing Sensory Stimulation: Playground equipment such as textured paths and sensory panels allow children to interact with nature in tactile ways. Exposure to different outdoor environments also promotes sensory stimulation, including smells, textures, and sounds, which develop children's sensory learning, observation, and communication skills.
Promoting Cognitive Development: Nature is unpredictable and constantly changing, which naturally promotes problem-solving skills, spatial awareness and critical thinking amongst children. By exploring natural features, children learn to think creatively, take calculated risks, and adapt to new challenges.
Fostering Positive Mental Health: Spending time outdoors in nature and fresh air may foster improved mood, stress reduction, reduced anxiety and encourage better sleep quality. Being in nature has been linked to reducing symptoms of ADHD and other behavioural issues amongst children, thus providing an ideal environment to promote mental well-being.
Providing an Eco-Friendly Environment: Using natural materials such as stone, wood, and soil as playground elements is more environmentally friendly compared to plastic equipment, promoting sustainable eco-friendly principles and reducing the carbon footprint. Natural playgrounds have been observed to promote respect for the environment, which allows children to better recognise the importance of maintaining a green environment.
Teaching children to be eco-friendly is an essential part of creating a sustainable and responsible future. One way to instil appreciation for the environment and promote eco-friendliness is through playing.