Nature play can awaken children’s senses, challenge their bodies, inspire their imaginations, and build self-confidence. In order to grow up healthy and happy, children need abundant unstructured time to play and explore in the natural world, but today’s children rarely have the opportunity to roam free outside. Bringing nature to the places where children spend their time is an answer. Well-designed nature play spaces are inviting and endlessly engaging for children AND good for the planet. With rich, inspiring images from around the world, author, educator, and landscape designer Nancy Striniste explains why and how to bring the beauty, adventure, and sustainability of nature play to backyards, schoolyards, churchyards, neighborhood parks, early childhood settings, and more.
Nancy Striniste, founder and principal designer at EarlySpace, LLC, has a unique background as both a landscape designer and an early childhood educator. From her Arlington, Virginia design office, she has worked with schools, childcare centers, municipalities, and organizations to create sustainably designed natural play and learning spaces and to teach educators and others about how to use the outdoors for teaching and learning.