19th October, 2011 - Posted by - 1 Comment
In honor of Take it Outside Week we’re doing a resource round up to help Head Start programs, preschools and childcare programs naturalize their play spaces. Whether your program is in an urban, suburban or rural area you can create a thriving play environment that incorporates many natural features.
Why naturalize your play space? That’s a good question! One of the best reasons is that health benefits and opportunities for academic and social development are associated with well designed outdoor play spaces which promote play and interaction with natural elements. Plus, young children are naturally (ha — get it!) attracted to these greener settings.
Here are some great resources to get you started.
- Natural Playscapes by Rusty Keeler
- Plants for Play by Robin Moore
- Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation by Sharon Danks
- The Natural Learning Initiative (Be sure to check out the Green Desk!)
- Nature Grounds (Be sure to check out the search-able plant data base.)
- The Natural World landing page on Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLCK)
HSBS Tip Sheets:
How about a little inspiration? Check out this video of some of our HSBS grantees in action.
Good luck and let us know how it’s going! We would love to see pictures of your play space.
Take it outside! ~ Bethe
Blogger Bio: Bethe Almeras, MS, is the HSBS Education & Outreach Director. A long time educator and play advocate, she is passionate about outdoor play and connecting children with nature. In her free time Bethe writes a blog, The Grass Stain Guru, and can often be found playing outside. She is particularly fond of squirrels. And turtles. And sandpipers. And…