Great Wildwood Natural Playground News!

Great Wildwood Natural Playground News!

Plans for the new Wildwood Elementary School’s natural playground are moving ahead by leaps and bounds!

The Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation raised more than $50,000 toward the playgrounds costs at its Spring Gala in March. This is wonderful news for the project!  A huge “thank you” to MAEF and to all of the generous donors for such an astounding and much-appreciated show of support for this precious gift to our children and grandchildren and to future generations.

In other news, the New Hampshire-based Natural Playgrounds Company just completed the design for the playground, which will include areas for both Early Childhood and K-2 elementary students. The plans will be unveiled at next week’s meeting of the Wildwood playground committee, composed of school faculty, MAGI members and others. Watch this space for follow-up to that exciting day!

Natural playgrounds have been gaining attention in recent years as a way to help children connect with nature, develop their creativity, and exercise their growing muscles – all while having a ton of fun! While traditional playgrounds mainly encourage gross motor exercise, natural playgrounds are specifically designed to support other aspects of play, such as sensory exploration, discovery, cooperation, interaction, imagination, relaxation, and daydreaming.

Research shows that children who spend time outdoors are more attentive, perform better academically, and are healthier and better able to handle stress in their lives. Yet the average child aged 8-18 in America today spends very little time in unstructured play outdoors. The natural playground design movement wants to address this huge “nature deficit” in a playful and creative way. We are so please to be able to help bring this gift of outdoor play and learning to our community!

 

Image courtesy of Natural Playgrounds