COMMUNITY NATURE PLAYGROUND
Outdoor classroom and Nature Playground for our students at Bubbles Academy as well as the greater community, with a target opening date of Summer 2019
The downward push of academics has caused recess and outdoor time to be shortened in numerous schools and programs at earlier ages. We see this as a critical time to advocate for play – specifically nature play – in urban areas. Time in nature is essential for children’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social development.
This is what prompted us to enlist Site Design and GRG Playscapes in helping us create an outdoor classroom and Nature Playground for our students at Bubbles Academy as well as the greater community, with a target opening date of Summer 2019.
The Nature Playground will be the centerpiece of community building at our Bucktown location, with free arts, nature and inquiry-based programs held there weekly through our sister non-profit, Whole Child Arts.
Why a nature playground?
A nature playground is different from a traditional playground in that it uses natural and open ended materials to facilitate and inspire play.
- Natural play helps children connect to and engage with the natural world
- Naturalized learning and play environments help children develop intellectual, emotional, social and cognitive skills (a playground for Whole Child Development)
- Opportunities for immersive natural play are shown to increase creativity, problem solving, and reduce stress.
This playground will also facilitate social interaction and problem solving in that it will provide not just a structure for students to play on, but many open-ended, natural materials for students to play with, reshaping and recreating the playground as they interact with it.
The playground will incorporate:
- Water play
- Climbing elements
- Plant life
- Loose parts
- Outdoor classroom
- Sand play
- Reclaimed objects
- Performance (or “informance”) area
How can you get involved?
Whole Child Arts is raising $50,000 to support the build of the nature playground and launch weekly free arts programming in the playground for the greater community. You can contribute via direct donations, reserving a painted tile or mosaic stepping stone to design at an upcoming workshop, volunteering, company sponsorships, or play structure dedications.