Creating Wild Places

img_20160503_162539469.jpgBaby slides, push toys, ride along cars. In our town, when they are outgrown and unwanted they find there way to this one park. Since they don’t “belong” to anyone, no one is worried about keeping them “nice.” That means that the kids can use them in every creative way they want. Every time we come they’ve been pushed into new positions,m filled up with sand or tipped on their side. You can see the potential and imagine the elaborate play schemes created on them.

At the end of every workshop on science or play, I urge the educators to make sure to get their kids out in nature. There are plenty of studies showing that we don’t go there enough, and that children are “nature deficient.”

But educators may look around at what they have to offer, and feel like it isn’t enough. Maybe they are in a very urban area, maybe they have a hard-packed playground with adult-chosen equipment.

Luckily, as this picture shows, that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what is in the space as much as giving kids the time and freedom to explore and create. Whether you have an award winning “nature playground” or hard-top and a fenced in tree, get them out there and let them play.

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