Play, naturally: A review of children´s natural play
The authors provide an extensive review of the literature related to children’s natural play. They begin by examining the human relationship with the natural world and the importance of play and direct interaction with the physical environment to children. Lester and Maudsley then review the important opportunities that natural play provides, such as the creation of special places, and the numerous documented and potential benefits of children’s play in natural settings, including the development of a sense of self and independence.
The authors discuss evidence demonstrating a decline in children’s access and opportunities to play in natural spaces and provide a range of suggestions to support children’s opportunities to play in natural settings, such as through the design of effective playgrounds, school grounds, and environmental play projects, as well as ensuring adequate access to parks and nature reserves.
By Stuart Lester and Martin Maudsley, Playwork Partnerships
Published 2 August 2006, Children’s Play Council