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.

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Comment by Meghan Cox Mick on September 8, 2010 at 9:26am
Hi all! Just an update on From the Ground Up's latest project. I helped Kids Inc. of the Big Bend (a local non-profit that provides subsidized daycare) design a natural playground for ages birth to 2. I will put some more pictures up on my website soon but here are a couple I took the other day. I found that I had to tell the kids to go through the grasses and jump on the stumps. Hopefully I started something!

Comment by John Thielbahr on September 7, 2010 at 9:55am
Hi Tori and Chris. Yes, Chris is right. There is a forest kindergarten happening in Saratoga Springs, NY, under the leadership of Ardie Pierce. I met her recently at the Children & Nature Leadership Gathering. She is wonderful and would welcome any ideas, suggestions and questions you might have. She can be contacted at I encourage you to connect with her.
Comment by Chris Catterton on September 6, 2010 at 8:01pm
Tori: I think there is something like a forest kindergarten happening at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, NY. Don't know all the details or how it's going.
Comment by John Thielbahr on August 9, 2010 at 9:07am
Hello Ricky,
Welcome to the Children & Nature Network social networking site. Your question is a good one and there are many experts who frequent our site that can share some suggestions. My recommendation is that you visit with a couple of fellow Georgians who are active on this site and know something about children's play areas. One is Cynthia Gentry who was involved with a children's play design competition recently, the results of which will be posted on Check Cynthia's bio on this site. Another is Sarah Cruthchfield who owns and operates a beautiful natural habitat called The Cabin Path south of Atlanta. Visit her site at and visit Sarah's profile on this site for more ways to contact her. I would also suggest that you sign up on the Natural Teachers Network group site. We have 110 active participants who educate our children in a variety of circumstances: pre-school, in school, after school and home school. When you wander through that site, you will find many suggestions for play areas and activities. Thanks again for your question and please post often. John
Comment by Ricky Crumbley on August 9, 2010 at 8:12am
I would like to learn more about building a small natural area on my daughters elementary school grounds
Comment by Cynthia Gentry on August 5, 2010 at 5:04am
John, Check into Robin Moore's Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State He's wonderful.
Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 5, 2010 at 1:50am
Hi Everyone

I'm sure you've just received Mary Jackson's message about environmental environments. The Learning Through Landscapes 1 day course is really good! I attended one 3 days ago and it was great. It's part of a larger course that trains suitable people to be school grounds advisors which in the past has been OCN accredited.

Best wishes

Sheffield Uni in England are just startign a masters degree programme on educational environments:
Not sure it is exactly what you are looking for but may be of interest.
Learning through Landscapes also runs short courses for those working in school grounds - including a day specifically tailored for designers - including Landscape Architect.
visit - a long way to come for a day!
Hope of help anyway.
Comment by John Thielbahr on August 4, 2010 at 5:42pm
Hello John. Thanks for your great question. Lately we have been asked about jobs connecting children with nature, sources of consulting to help new non-profits be successful in connecting kids to nature, and connecting Master Naturalist programs with people interested. Regarding your question, I suggest you contact Dr. Robin Moore at North Carolina State University. Robin is a close advisor to The Children & Nature Network and is an expert in landscape design for outdoor play. Also, we have members who are using landscape design for therapy practices: Sarah Jones in Texas and Tiffany Sauls in Corvallis, Oregon. Sarah posted pictures of her therapy garden on C&NN Connect at . You can access this under the Photos section of this site. Let me know if you need additional information. Welcome to the Network and keep posting your ideas, suggestions and questions. John
Comment by Suz Lipman on August 4, 2010 at 8:16am
Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" is the inspiration for a new OK playspace.
Comment by Krissy Hopkins on July 14, 2010 at 8:02am
Here are some ways students in the Chesapeake region are accessing nature nearby,

Two North Branch students released some of their 118 trout into the the South Fork of the Piney River.

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