Developmental Benefits of Play on a Natural Playground




Ethier, Shelley

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Children are spending less time outside in nature (Gray, et al., 2015; Louv, 2008). The purpose of this project is to provide the research and rationale on the importance of providing young children with the opportunity to play outdoors on a natural playground. The guiding question for this project is: How does play on natural playgrounds vs. traditional playgrounds contribute to the holistic development of young children? In the literature review, I draw on recent research in the fields of outdoor play, child development, and the comparison of these two elements on natural vs. traditional playgrounds. I then created a PowerPoint presentation as well as a brochure which provides educators, administrators, and parents with a review of the current research on the importance of play on a natural playground as it aids in the cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and spiritual development of young children. The PowerPoint presentation is going to be presented to the Parent Advisory Committee to inform them of the benefits of play on a natural playground aiding in the design and implementation of a new playground for our school.



outdoor play, natural playground, natural playscape, loose parts