CONSIDER NATURAL ALTERNATIVES

Natural play spaces are an increasingly popular choice for playground designers and communities. Talk to a certified inspector or landscape architect to ensure your ideas comply with the CSA standard and meet relevant provincial guidelines, such as those established for schools and child care facilities.

  • Read other resources to learn more about natural play ideas for communities, families and child care centres.
    • Innovative Playgrounds  provides case studies and a design matrices for creating innovative playgrounds.
    • Children and Nature has toolkits for families and research summaries of the many health benefits related to play and learning in nature.
    • Green Hour recommends that parents give their kids a “Green Hour” every day, in a garden, backyard or neighbourhood park.
    • Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood features a Parents Guide to Nature Play with ideas for parents and child care centres.
  • Encourage the use of local parks, paths and trails by creating activity kits that families can borrow from a community centre, library, school or child care facility.
    • Outdoor play kits can include index cards with simple and fun activities and games for families to do together. They can provide basic outdoor equipment such as soft balls of varying sizes, skipping ropes, small plastic pylons and Frisbees for children to play with.
    • Nature kits can include nature checklists, scavenger hunts, or I Spy Nature ideas, and provide a bag or basket with a plastic bucket and shovels, nets, bug containers and a plastic magnifying glass.
  • Host a Play Day in your local park.