children's built environments


children's built environments

Accessing 'nearby nature' often means improving the environments that children spend a majority of their time in....daycares, schools, neighborhood parks etc. Please help us share ideas, stories, and images of inspiring children's facilities.

Members: 101
Latest Activity: Jun 13, 2016

inspiring photos wanted!

Please post pictures of your inspiring nature play areas!

Discussion Forum

Can a playground be too safe? 6 Replies

Can a playground be too safe? This question was posed in the New York Times, which noted that some researchers are questioning the value of "safety-first" playgrounds. “Children need to encounter…Continue

Tags: Play, Safety, Playground, Playgrounds

Started by Suz Lipman. Last reply by Ida Castillo Nov 24, 2014.

Water in playgrounds-information needed! 1 Reply

Hi all,So I'm embarking on an exciting but rather challenging project in the local City Park that will use iconic Florida landscapes (either recreated or symbolic) to allow families to play and…Continue

Tags: costs, design, playground, water

Started by Meghan Cox Mick. Last reply by Suz Lipman Mar 5, 2013.

How did your 2012 Let's G.O. (Get Outside) event go?!

We're so excited to hear about your April events! Please join the Let's G.O.! (Get Outside) group and post your stories and photos.Haven't heard of Let's G.O.! yet? It's not too late!Everyone can…Continue

Started by Daniella (Donna) Drader Apr 17, 2012.

Free Green Schoolyard Webinar Tomorrow: March 27th

Hi everyone,On Tuesday, March 27th (tomorrow!), from 7:30-8:30pm EST, I’ll be giving a webinar presentation for Green Teacher Magazine, based in Toronto, Canada, and I thought the topic might…Continue

Started by Sharon Danks Mar 26, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Juliet Robertson on September 21, 2011 at 2:24pm
Thanks Suz - I heard Robin Moore speak this summer and was impressed with the joined up work between different organisations to support schools and others to get children outside in natural spaces.
Comment by Suz Lipman on September 21, 2011 at 8:03am

Hope you all know about this conference led by Robin Moore.

The 9th Annual Design Institute is an interactive event that combines presentations and outdoor hands-on activities. The program will offer innovative ideas and concepts for participants to implement back home.

Design for Early Childhood: Health, Play and Learning. Oct. 6-7 Chapel Hill, NC.

Comment by Suz Lipman on September 21, 2011 at 8:00am
Lyndie, were you able to get a recommendation? How is it going? Keep us posted.
Comment by Lyndie Bradshaw on September 12, 2011 at 6:29pm


Letter of recomendat​ion for Orange County Coast Keeper Natural Playground!


My name is Lyndie Bradshaw I am beginning to start consulting as Reconnect Nature to provide an opportunity for a natural playground with non-profit Orange County Coast Keeper in Orange, California.

Coast Keeper is looking to extend this idea and build a Natural Playscape in the area, for youth and families to enjoy.   The playscape will consist of hidden trails, native habitat, down logs, loose natural parts for building and imagination. We all know the most important part of our project is to provide natural play as a means of enjoyment in the outdoors and future connection.  OC Coast Keeper is hoping to inspire future generations for conservation and stewardship.  


  With your help you can send a lettter for the Boeing Company Grant, supporting ideas for Natural Play and Playscape gardens and the life long benefits of natural play and conservation and stewardship.  Please response as soon as possible the grant is due on Wednesday 9/14.  Please reply to my email at .


Thanks for your help!

Comment by John Thielbahr on August 25, 2011 at 10:18am
Regarding kids outside in winter, Margaret Rietano in DC is in her third year of working with schools to get kids outside in winter.  That is all she does and it is successful.  Here are three ways to contact Margaret and her company The Elements: ; ; and
Comment by Marilyn Wyzga on August 25, 2011 at 7:35am
Project WILD also has a wonderful supplementary curriculum, created by their Canadian affiliate, called "Below Zero."  The activities focus around winter wildlife and adaptations.
Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 25, 2011 at 7:29am

Hi - I work al year round as a class teacher and take classes outside in winter. Here's a link to my Winter Wonderland pack which is a starting point for working in the snow. Scroll down the resource page til you find it.


Next I blog twice a week on I'm a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here! If you go to "Help Blog Index" there are lots of activities which work well outside in winter - for example "Kids measure in desperate weather" I also comment on clothing and other issues around getting children outside


Here in Scotland we are expected to ensure that children have access to frequent and regular opportunities for learning outdoors. This can only happen if teachers take children outside all year round. I'm hoping that an outdoor learning pack will soon be published online which links outdoor learning to many curriculum and national initiatives.

Comment by Marilyn Wyzga on August 25, 2011 at 7:21am
Agree!  We made sure to include winter pics on our NH Children in Nature website and Facebook page.  And I definitely address that in our schoolyard habitat program.  In fact, the very first school pd workshop I held was in January -- you should have seen those intrepid teachers climbing over snowbanks to do inventory!
Comment by Laura Duffey on August 25, 2011 at 6:44am
I'd love to see photos and strategies for children learning outdoors in WINTER. Gardens are great, but in many northern states snow is on the ground 5 months of the school year or more. Showing only photos of lovely spring/summer/fall scenes may give the unconscious message to teachers that winter (and therefore 5 months) is off-limits for outdoor learning.
Comment by Suz Lipman on August 17, 2011 at 12:37pm

The Cincinnati Nature Center just opened its new PlayScape. It sounds fantastic!


Kids can climb on logs and boulders, dig in dirt, play in a stream and explore natural spaces.


gratulations to Bill Hopple and all involved, many of whom are leaders in OH's Leave No Child Inside grassroots collaborative.


You can read more here:


and here:



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