Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sensory Stimulating Play

I found this article today on a commercial playground manufacturer's website:

New study says playgrounds should stimulate children's imagination

A five-year study in Vancouver, Canada, recently found that children may benefit from playgrounds that feature areas for free and sensory-stimulating play, The Vancouver Sun reports.

"We found that outdoor play spaces that contain materials that children could manipulate - sand, water, mud, plants, pathways and other loose parts - offered more developmental and play opportunities than spaces without these elements," Susan Herrington, a professor in the University of British Columbia's School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, who led the study, told the news source.

Sensory playgrounds enable children to interact with a variety of materials, such as sand and water, while nature-inspired equipment allows youngsters to experience natural settings in a safe and controlled environment. Parents can speak to town representatives about installing similar play areas in their own neighborhood.

I couldn't help but think that reading a little of Mason's writings could have spared them five years!

Our nature day last week was spent under one big oak tree. We were there for hours and, I'm no expert, but I'm pretty certain even without a five year study that our children will benefit from the free and sensory-stimulating play they had there.

And thanks to the many opportunities they've had out in nature under our guidance, they are learning to determine for themselves what is 'safe and controlled', rather than it always being ensured for them in a manufactured environment.


by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree,
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast
A tree that looks at God all day
and lifts her leafy arms to pray.
A tree that may, in summer, wear
A nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


  1. Isn't that just one of the best spots around? Our kids were there for hours too and so very happy.
    It doesn't take a lot of equipment of money to entertain kids--just some moms who are willing to get outside!
    Love from,

  2. Wonderful post and pics. Love this poem too! It was one of Abby's for recitation last year, so beautiful! Do tell, where is the lovely tree;) Keeping my fingers crossed it might be closer to south county!

  3. Isn't it funny to think of a world in which humans simulate a natural environment! I know that is not exactly what is being stated here, but it just struck me this way and I had to laugh. Who knows, maybe someone reading this blog 100 years from now will wonder what a natural playground is.
    Anyway, I'm glad our children know and love the great outdoors, and it is true that some children do not have this experience. Truly, many children live a life of technology within the bounds of their rooms. How very unfortunate.