August 15, 2012

Four strategies for a more natural playground

Steve King's strategies for designing "more natural" play environments is one of the articles I enjoyed in the Landscape Structures "Play Naturally" brochure.  See yesterday's post about Louise Chawla's literature review of benefits of natural experiences for children.  King's four recommendations for natural playgrounds are:

1. Incorporate the existing natural elements on the site;

Image: Slide structure beneath mature horsechestnut, Diana Memorial Playground, Hyde Park (London)
2. Place play structures to take advantage of views of natural elements;

Image: Tot Playground in Washington Square Park surrounded by trees (NYC)

3. Install each feature with a specific purpose in mind (for example, rocks for climbing);

Image: Boulders near the Marsh at Teardrop Park (NYC)
4. Include signage to educate users and/or to initiate play (King suggests a nature-themed treasure hunt for leaves, flowers, birds, etc.).

Image: Marsh signage at Teardrop Park (NYC)

Learn more about Teardrop Park here and about the Diana Memorial Playground here.

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