Young Children and Nature: outdoor play and development, experiences fostering environmental consciousness, and the implications on playground design
This thesis from Landscape Architect Ashley Parsons, explains why designers of children’s playscapes should recognise the importance of play, nature experiences and the benefits that outdoor play have on children’s health and development. The author points out that play is a pivotal part of a child’s life and that children’s direct social and individual experiences in nature between the ages of three and twelve (the ‘developmental window of opportunity’) help shape their environmental identity and guide their environmental actions. It also provides children with experiences in naturalistic landscapes which could potentially influence morality, value development and future action.
Target Audience: early childhood educators, leaders, parents