Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nature Play At Home

I share a lot of ideas and projects on the blog that are related to public projects and sites that are open for all types of users. In no way was this meant to say that nature play needs to be done on a large scale. Quite on the contrary, many parts of nature play have to do with materials, textures and small details.

There are some really easy places to start offering nature connection at home

Offer Natural Materials:  

Let kids collect these materials while on a hike then explore them more at home. Relate them to the seasons and seasonal patterns. There is so much to be learned from breaking open a fall nut or smelling a spring flower.


Offer Sand and Water Access:

Again it can be simple. Below is a fire pit turned into sand and water exploration. This works great because it comes with a mesh top covering to protect from animals and leaf litter.

Offer a Mud Kitchen or Potions Lab:

There is nothing better then a mud pie with fresh spices and flowers from the garden. Round up a few old kitchen containers and tools and identify a 'work counter'. Kitchen and potions labs help young children master the use of kitchen tools in a creative, no worries way. They are often not as much of a mess as you would expect. :)


Offer Real Tools to Interact with Outdoors:

Kids are naturally drawn to simple household tasks and tools. These small repetitive movements help with coordination as well as muscle memory and brain development.

A Great Resource for Further Exploration:

The Natural Wildlife Federation has recently Publish this resource, "Make your Backyard the Best Playground - Naturally!" It is jam packed with ideas and resources.


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