Parents and guardians are looking for more natural environments for their children to play in. “Children have a natural affinity toward nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime,” say Robin C. Moore and co-author Herb H. Wong in their classic book Natural Learning.
Despite this affinity, many American children seem to have “nature-deficit disorder;” this is what Richard Louv calls the disconnection between children and nature in his book Last Child in the Woods. Fostered by hurried lifestyls and changing family structures, American children spend more time indoors than outdoors. Children aged 2-11 are watching more and more TV than they have in years, as aNielsen Report on consumer and media expertise shows. Due to the lack of outdoor activities, over 17 percent or 12.5 million American children are overweight. These high numbers clearly emphasize The Importance of Outdoor Play. Outdoor play not only adds to the physical development, but also supports the cognitive development in a child and improves their mental health.
Natural Playgrounds are Growing into a National Trend, posts G. Jeffrey MacDonald in USAToday, commenting on the fact that natural play spaces are in high demand. Parents are looking to reconnect their children to nature by providing the matching environments. Maybe they remember the time when they were brought up and left to explore the playgrounds of their childhood – natural playgrounds that were provided by an intact wilderness.