If you’re looking for ways to make your playground more fun, make better use of yard space, or just want to get the kids outside for more outdoor play then you’ve come to the right place.
From using the land elements for more unstructured play, these natural playground ideas will help turn your playground into a childhood paradise.
What Are The Benefits Of Natural Playgrounds And Outdoor Play?
We’ve spent a lot of time stuck indoors recently. Outdoor space offers many benefits, including:
- Encouraging creativity and imagination
- Helping children learn about nature and the environment
- Promoting physical activity and healthy development
- Providing an enjoyable outdoor experience
- Letting imaginations develop whilst having a great time
- Developing social skills as kids run wild
- Help develop sensory play activities as children feel safe in their own space
Some Tips For Creating A Natural Playground
Here are some tips for creating a natural playground:
1. Choose The Right Location
Choose a shaded location that has good drainage and select playground equipment that is safe for children to play with. Include a variety of textures and materials for children to explore, such as mud, sand, wood chips, and pebbles.
Design activities that can be done individually or in groups in your own backyard. For example, some natural playgrounds may include a slide or grassy hill, while others have areas specifically designed for games like tag or hide-and-go-seek to engage children.
2. Introduce Natural Features Into Your Design
Try introducing features of nature into the design. It could include using hills and slopes, incorporating trees and bushes, or adding water features.
Not only will this make the playground or yard more visually appealing, but it will also provide a low-risk environment for children to play in.
3. Use Recycled Building Materials Wherever Possible
Another great way is to create your playground from recycled materials or things you may find in thrift stores.
This could include using reclaimed wood for structures, repurposing old tires as climbing walls, or salvaged stones for pathways.
Using recycled materials can help reduce waste while also creating an outdoor play space for imaginative play and developing construction skills at the same time.
4. Organic Materials Are Great Additions To Any Play Space
If you’re looking to make your natural play area more appealing, consider using organic materials.
This could include using mulch instead of pavement, utilizing bamboo fencing instead of metal fences, planting grasses, flowers instead of installing synthetic turf, or wood as building blocks.
Not only will organic materials help create a wonderful playground, but they will also develop ability and the kids will play longer as they dig and fill holes and pick up sticks.
5. Install Climbing Structures Made From Natural Materials
One of the best ways to encourage children to explore and play naturally is by installing climbing structures created from organic materials. This could include installing treehouses, creating rock walls, or constructing mud huts.
When children can play on these types of structures, they are more likely to dig about, get dirty and have fun exploring what nature has to offer.
Check Out The Creative Natural Playground Ideas Below For Inspiration!
1. Fairy Houses Fit Perfectly In Natural Play Areas
Fairy houses are easy to make, and all you need is a few sticks, leaves, and other easy-to-find materials found in the park.
With fairy houses, kids can play pretend with their own little homes decorated with items they find on-site.
2. Log And Stump Obstacle Course
It is a great way to use loose materials to create an obstacle course in the yard that kids will love!
Just be sure the logs and stumps are stable and won’t roll or move when kids climb on them. You can also make bridges, steps, a chain link fence, and other fun obstacles in your yard or play areas.
3. Sensory Garden For Imaginary Play
A sensory garden is perfect for younger kids who want to explore. You can use different textures, smells, and colors to stimulate all of the child’s senses.
This is a great way to get kids interested in nature and help them learn about their surroundings and imagine and create at the same time.
4. Natural Swings – Perfect Additions To Natural Play Spaces
Using timbers for swings is definitely one of the best ideas. Swings made out of tree trunks, branches, and lianas are not only an attraction but perfect for natural playground ideas.
Besides being safe for children, using trees in the playground will save you money on installation costs. You need some ropes or chains, and your kids will be swinging soon enough. It’s easy to build them yourself if you have some carpentry skills.
5. Tree Climbers
Tree climbing might seem similar to tree swings, but they are pretty different. Tree swing allows children to move back and forth while tree climbers feature static holds and footholds that will enable children to move vertically.
It is a great way to develop strength and coordination in little ones. You can either use ropes or chains to create the climbers or a more permanent solution by attaching wooden planks, rungs, or metal bars.
Seesaws are another classic playground attraction that can easily be made using easy-to-find materials.
All you need are two sturdy logs, some ropes or chains, and you’re good to go. Be sure to place the logs far enough apart so that when the seesaw is in use, both children will stay safe on their respective sides.
7. A Sandbox
A sandbox is perfect for kids who love to play in the sand. It can be as simple or complex as you like, and you can even add toys and other accessories to make it more fun.
8. Playing With the Rocks
To make natural playscapes, you can try this idea with some pebbles or wooden trunks, it will be a great playing area for the kids.
Or line up the stones instead, and let your child walk above them. Using natural materials in this way will develop motor skills rather than being stuck in front of a screen or gadget all day long.
1. What Are Natural Playscapes?
It’s a beautiful place where children can run and play without artificial barriers. Native plants, rolling hills with plenty of trees make this type of space perfect for kids to explore freely.
2. Are Playgrounds Like This Safe?
Some parents worry that introducing natural playground equipment and other materials into the backyard will bring more risk to children. The traditional safety precautions of these items are not available on a free-standing piece of land.
The good news is that children who engage in risky play develop strong skills for handling risks. They may also become more self-confident and resilient than their peers, as they are able to test themselves with things like heights or speed.
Supervision is important no matter where children play, or whether playgrounds have become so safe that there’s little to inspire imagination. Outdoor natural areas provide an alternative with lush greenery which inspires imagination for young minds.
Why Are Natural Playgrounds Better?
Natural playgrounds are not only fun but also promote a safe environment for children to play in. The natural terrain provides challenges that encourage exploration and creative thinking while improving physical fitness skills as well as social development abilities.
How Do Natural Playgrounds Differ From Traditional Playgrounds?
A natural playground is a place for exploration where imaginations run wild. It consists of the earth’s natural elements such as tree logs, boulders, or stumps with plants growing along their edges to form an interesting landscape that provides children with hours of playtime enjoyment.
The traditional playgrounds mostly have artificial structures and plastic slides for enjoyment.
What Are The Elements Of A Natural Playground?
A natural playground is a place where children can explore and have fun in a space filled with various objects that are found on Earth such as tree logs, stumps, or boulders.
They may also enjoy time among plants and trees, drainage paths, rocks, soil, and other stuff.
When designing spaces like this there are plenty of ways to get creative and make it fun and educational for children. By using some or all of the ideas listed above, you can create a beautiful and environmentally friendly playground. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your natural garden today!