Through engaging with natural elements in playground environments, children are connected with nature in a way that fosters curiosity and exploration.
This experience of natural textures and shapes leads to a sense of comfort, interest and appreciation for nature, developing a lifelong connection to the natural environment.
Nature is not "out there", a separate, scary, dangerous part of life, but rather a part of everything we do, and can and should be integrated in play in a way that children can notice and begin to experience.
The materials we use for children's play have an under-recognised impact on their development, providing stimuli for creativity in life. Even if subconsciously, children always notice the difference between a uniform plastic surface compared to the uniqueness of every texture of an organic product. This provides a basis for how they recognise the growth, beauty and usefulness in different natural materials. The grain of a tree, for example, shows life and environmental change, creating a beautiful pattern. The trail of a timber bug, or the scar of a fallen branch creates a textural wonder and an abstract artwork within the wood, for children to explore. All this within a solid, huggable, climbable, stackable material, with endless uses!
When children feel comfortable out in nature, research shows they are generally happier, healthier and more likely to become self-directed learners!
Natural play equipment empowers children in their creative and independent development. Drawing children into nature is one of the most important challenges of our time, and the benefits are enormous!
So get the kids out there and enjoying nature!
Forget the plastic play equipment, try some natural products by Timber Creations!