Active Play




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ALFRESCO KIT Large obstacle course
Care Play Playhouse Facade CP-4101
Castle Infant/Toddler Outdoor Step 'n Slide, Bright KOPG510B


ALFRESCO KIT Large obstacle course
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Care Play Playhouse Facade CP-4101
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Castle Infant/Toddler Outdoor Step 'n Slide, Bright KOPG510B
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Castle Infant/Toddler Outdoor Step 'n Slide, Natural KOPG510N
Children's Factory Convertible Car Rollaround
Children's Factory Corral Ball Pool (280 Balls)


Castle Infant/Toddler Outdoor Step 'n Slide, Natural KOPG510N
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Children's Factory Convertible Car Rollaround
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Children's Factory Corral Ball Pool (280 Balls)
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Children's Factory Cover For Sensory Ball Pool
Children's Factory Eduring
Children's Factory Freight Truck Rollaround


Children's Factory Cover For Sensory Ball Pool
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Children's Factory Eduring
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Children's Factory Freight Truck Rollaround
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Children's Factory Fun-A-Saurus (Head & Tail Set)
Children's Factory Fun-A-Saurus (Head & Tall) With 1 Eduring
Children's Factory Mini Car Soft Rider Set Of 3


Children's Factory Fun-A-Saurus (Head & Tail Set)
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Children's Factory Fun-A-Saurus (Head & Tall) With 1 Eduring
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Children's Factory Mini Car Soft Rider Set Of 3
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Children's Factory Mini-Nest Ball Pool
Children's Factory Passenger Picku Rollaround
Children's Factory Red Rocker


Children's Factory Mini-Nest Ball Pool
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Children's Factory Passenger Picku Rollaround
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Children's Factory Red Rocker
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Children's Factory Red Rocker Rails (Blue)
Children's Factory Red Rocker With Rails
Children's Factory Set A Rollarounds (Set Of 3)


Children's Factory Red Rocker Rails (Blue)
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Children's Factory Red Rocker With Rails
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Children's Factory Set A Rollarounds (Set Of 3)
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Children's Factory Snap Bloc - Set Of 20 R/B/G/Y
Children's Factory Snap Bloc - Set Of 60 R/B/G/Y
Children's Factory Snap Cube/Snap Wall - Set Of 6 Panels


Children's Factory Snap Bloc - Set Of 20 R/B/G/Y
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Children's Factory Snap Bloc - Set Of 60 R/B/G/Y
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Children's Factory Snap Cube/Snap Wall - Set Of 6 Panels
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Children's Factory Snap Junior Village Set
Creative Playthings Playtime Series Classic Swing Set: Top Ladder With Chain Accessories
Gonge Air Kids Balancing Board G-2170


Children's Factory Snap Junior Village Set
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Creative Playthings Playtime Series Classic Swing Set: Top Ladder With Chain Accessories
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Gonge Air Kids Balancing Board G-2170
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Gonge GoGo Bus G-2139
Gonge GoGo Bus Handles G-2136
Gonge GoGo G-2138


Gonge GoGo Bus G-2139
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Gonge GoGo Bus Handles G-2136
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Gonge GoGo G-2138
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Gonge Green Balancing Board 13.75"/1.65" G-2111
Gonge Island, Set of 2 G-2124
Gonge Kids Mini Trampoline with Handle - Mono G-2400


Gonge Green Balancing Board 13.75"/1.65" G-2111
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Gonge Island, Set of 2 G-2124
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Gonge Kids Mini Trampoline with Handle - Mono G-2400
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Sale price: $402.80
Gonge Parachute 12'- 3.5M G-2302
Gonge Parachute 24'- 6M G-2304
Gonge River Landscape G-2166


Gonge Parachute 12'- 3.5M G-2302
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Gonge Parachute 24'- 6M G-2304
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Gonge River Landscape G-2166
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Gonge River, Set of 6 G-2123
Gonge Round Seesaw G-2106
Gonge Summerski for 4 Children G-2149


Gonge River, Set of 6 G-2123
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Gonge Round Seesaw G-2106
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Gonge Summerski for 4 Children G-2149
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Gonge Summerski Indoor Balance and Coordination Toys for 3 Children G-2148
Gonge Throwing Game G-2907
Gonge Top G-2101


Gonge Summerski Indoor Balance and Coordination Toys for 3 Children G-2148
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Gonge Throwing Game G-2907
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Gonge Top G-2101
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Gonge Trampoline - Baby G-2406
Infant Toddler Dream Playground, Bright Colors KOPG443B
Infant Toddler Dream Playground, Natural Colors KOPG443N


Gonge Trampoline - Baby G-2406
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Infant Toddler Dream Playground, Bright Colors KOPG443B
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Infant Toddler Dream Playground, Natural Colors KOPG443N
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Outdoor Infant/Toddler Socialization Cube with Texture Panel, Bright, 24''h KOPG5940ITB
Outdoor Infant/Toddler Socialization Cube with Texture Panel, Natural, 24''h KOPG5940ITN
Step 'n Slide Infant/Toddler Outdoor Playground, Bright Colors KOPG440B


Outdoor Infant/Toddler Socialization Cube with Texture Panel, Bright, 24''h KOPG5940ITB
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Outdoor Infant/Toddler Socialization Cube with Texture Panel, Natural, 24''h KOPG5940ITN
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Step 'n Slide Infant/Toddler Outdoor Playground, Bright Colors KOPG440B
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Step 'n Slide Infant/Toddler Outdoor Playground, Natural Colors KOPG440N
Ultimate Infant/Toddler Outdoor Playground Structure, Bright Colors KOPG448B
Ultimate Infant/Toddler Outdoor Playground Structure, Natural KOPG448N


Step 'n Slide Infant/Toddler Outdoor Playground, Natural Colors KOPG440N
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Ultimate Infant/Toddler Outdoor Playground Structure, Bright Colors KOPG448B
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Ultimate Infant/Toddler Outdoor Playground Structure, Natural KOPG448N
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Wesco "Footbridge" Babixplore Kit Toddler Stairs And Slide 39807
Wesco "The Bridge" Babixplore Kit 39808
Wesco 1 Wheeled Wheel Barrow 12360


Wesco "Footbridge" Babixplore Kit Toddler Stairs And Slide 39807
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Wesco "The Bridge" Babixplore Kit 39808
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Wesco 1 Wheeled Wheel Barrow 12360
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Wesco 2 Wheeled Wheel Barrow 12359
Wesco Alfresco "Crawl Through" 12608
Wesco Alfresco Balancing Beam 829


Wesco 2 Wheeled Wheel Barrow 12359
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Wesco Alfresco "Crawl Through" 12608
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Wesco Alfresco Balancing Beam 829
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Wesco Alfresco Beam 4704
Wesco Alfresco H Block  4711
Wesco Alfresco Kit "The Bridge" 38560


Wesco Alfresco Beam 4704
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Wesco Alfresco H Block 4711
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Wesco Alfresco Kit "The Bridge" 38560
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Wesco Alfresco Kit Seesaw 38556
Wesco Alfresco Orange Tactile Bridge 12254
Wesco Alfresco Play Unit 1 Way In, 2 Way Out 38554


Wesco Alfresco Kit Seesaw 38556
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Wesco Alfresco Orange Tactile Bridge 12254
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Wesco Alfresco Play Unit 1 Way In, 2 Way Out 38554
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Wesco Alfresco Red Tactile Bridge 12268
Wesco Alfresco Rollercoaster Obstacle Course 38553
Wesco Alfresco Tunnel 875 875


Wesco Alfresco Red Tactile Bridge 12268
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Wesco Alfresco Rollercoaster Obstacle Course 38553
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Wesco Alfresco Tunnel 875 875
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Wesco Alfresco Tunnel Kit 38557
Wesco Alfresco Wheel 4713
Wesco Alfresco Y Block 4712


Wesco Alfresco Tunnel Kit 38557
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Wesco Alfresco Wheel 4713
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Wesco Alfresco Y Block 4712
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Wesco Alligator Child Safety Walkalong 6' 6" 20157
Wesco Flower Child Safety Walkalong 6' 6" 20158
Wesco Scogym Gym Kit #1


Wesco Alligator Child Safety Walkalong 6' 6" 20157
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Wesco Flower Child Safety Walkalong 6' 6" 20158
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Wesco Scogym Gym Kit #1
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Wesco Scogym Gym Kit #5 41326
Wesco Scogym Gym Kit #8 41329
Winther Baby seat for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win800, Win801 & Win802 Win31127


Wesco Scogym Gym Kit #5 41326
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Wesco Scogym Gym Kit #8 41329
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Winther Baby seat for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win800, Win801 & Win802 Win31127
Our price: $142.75
Winther Canopy (2 pers.) for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win801 & Win802 Win31324
Winther Circleline Ambulance Tricycle WIN564
Winther Circleline Easy Rider WIN553


Winther Canopy (2 pers.) for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win801 & Win802 Win31324
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Winther Circleline Ambulance Tricycle WIN564
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Winther Circleline Easy Rider WIN553
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Winther Circleline Fire Truck Tricycle WIN563
Winther Circleline Large Tricycle WIN552
Winther Circleline Medium Tricycle WIN551


Winther Circleline Fire Truck Tricycle WIN563
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Winther Circleline Large Tricycle WIN552
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Winther Circleline Medium Tricycle WIN551
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Winther Circleline Police Tricycle WIN562
Winther Circleline Push Bike WIN560
Winther Circleline Scooter WIN556


Winther Circleline Police Tricycle WIN562
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Winther Circleline Push Bike WIN560
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Winther Circleline Scooter WIN556
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Winther Circleline Small Tricycle WIN550
Winther Circleline Taxi Tricycle WIN554
Winther Circleline Truck WIN561


Winther Circleline Small Tricycle WIN550
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Winther Circleline Taxi Tricycle WIN554
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Winther Circleline Truck WIN561
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Winther DUO Toddler Push Bike (for one) WIN584
Winther DUO Toddler Safety Scooter WIN591
Winther DUO Toddler Three Wheeled Scooter WIN588


Winther DUO Toddler Push Bike (for one) WIN584
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Winther DUO Toddler Safety Scooter WIN591
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Winther DUO Toddler Three Wheeled Scooter WIN588
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Winther DUO Toddler Tricycle WIN582
Winther DUO Toddler Tricycle with Fixed Tray WIN583
Winther DUO Toddler Tricycle with Low Frame WIN580


Winther DUO Toddler Tricycle WIN582
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Winther DUO Toddler Tricycle with Fixed Tray WIN583
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Winther DUO Toddler Tricycle with Low Frame WIN580
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Winther Evacuation Plate for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win801 Win15750
Winther Insect net  for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win800 Win19096
Winther Rain Cover -for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win801 Win19091


Winther Evacuation Plate for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win801 Win15750
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Winther Insect net for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win800 Win19096
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Winther Rain Cover -for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win801 Win19091
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Winther Rain Cover  for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win800 & Win802 Win19095
Winther Storage tray for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win801 & Win802 Win31161
Winther Viking Cycle Rack WIN391-39


Winther Rain Cover for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win800 & Win802 Win19095
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Winther Storage tray for Turtle Kiddy Bus Win801 & Win802 Win31161
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Winther Viking Cycle Rack WIN391-39
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Winther Viking EasyRider Tricycle (Age 3-7) WIN479
Winther Viking Safety Roller WIN475
Winther Viking Swingcart - Large with Brake WIN470


Winther Viking EasyRider Tricycle (Age 3-7) WIN479
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Winther Viking Safety Roller WIN475
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Winther Viking Swingcart - Large with Brake WIN470
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Winther Viking Swingcart - Small WIN464
Winther Viking Taxi Tricycle with 2 Seats (Age 4-8) WIN462
Winther Viking Tricycle - Large (Age 4--8) WIN452


Winther Viking Swingcart - Small WIN464
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Winther Viking Taxi Tricycle with 2 Seats (Age 4-8) WIN462
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Winther Viking Tricycle - Large (Age 4--8) WIN452
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Winther Viking Tricycle - Medium (Age 3-6) WIN451
Winther Viking Tricycle - Small (Age 2-4) WIN450
Winther Viking Tricycle Tricart  (Age 4-12) WIN469


Winther Viking Tricycle - Medium (Age 3-6) WIN451
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Winther Viking Tricycle - Small (Age 2-4) WIN450
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Winther Viking Tricycle Tricart (Age 4-12) WIN469
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Winther Viking Twin Taxi Tricycle (Age 4-8) WIN468


Winther Viking Twin Taxi Tricycle (Age 4-8) WIN468
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Outdoor Experiences for Young Children

Much professional thought and long-standing tradition emphasize the value of outdoor experiences for young children. Despite the conventional wisdom, however, many children today spend very little time outdoors. This article considers the rationale for outdoor experience among young children and the reasons for its decline in popularity. It also presents arguments for enhancing school and center playspaces and provides guidelines for developmentally appropriate outdoor design.

THE VALUE OF OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES
Most children appear to benefit from being outdoors. They like to see what is going on (traffic, construction, water flowing, clouds moving, animals), go someplace, meet and greet other people and animals, experience the infinite and diverse sensory qualities of the world (the smells, the feels, the sounds), and experiment with the "big behaviors," such as shouting, running, climbing, and jumping (which are seldom accommodated well indoors). Not only is being outdoors pleasant, its richness and novelty stimulate brain development and function. Cognition is rooted in perception - the outdoors is a prime source of perceptions.
Young children especially need the broad experiential base provided by being outdoors. The knowledge they gain there is foundational to literacy and science learning. Generations of kindergarteners have been taken on farm visits so they could read, write, draw, converse, and know about pumpkins, cows, and cornstalks. Furthermore, unlike some childhood pleasures, that of being outdoors seems lasting--any casual survey of adults will find a high quotient of happy outdoor memories, some of which have been formative. Another lasting benefit is that children can learn to care for the environment, if provided with numerous positive outdoor experiences under the tutelage of suitable role models.

ENDANGERED ACTIVITY?
Despite the benefits of outdoor experiences, and in contrast to earlier agrarian, pre-automotive times, children now spend most of their time inside buildings or vehicles. As most adult activities are indoors, so now are most children's, perhaps in large part from the need for supervision. Children five and under seldom experience unsupervised outdoor play; now, even the 5-10's tend to be supervised.
Adult fears regarding traffic, firearms, kidnapping, injury, ultraviolet rays, insect-borne diseases, and pollution of various sorts lead them to keep children indoors. Additionally, especially in many urban areas, few places remain for children to play. Before cars took over, streets were places that connected dwellings and shops, providing a common space for activities, including children's play. Public playgrounds, even though meant for children, are frequently poorly designed, maintained, or supervised. School playgrounds are sometimes limited to combinations of asphalt, turf, and some large-motor structures.

The attractions of staying inside when not in school--amusement, comfort, and homework--are strong. For instance, 98% of U.S. homes have television, 72% have computers and over 75% have air conditioning. During the school day, the demands of academic learning increasingly encroaches on outdoor time. Many schools have eliminated recess above the primary level.

ENHANCING SCHOOL AND CENTER PLAYSPACES
Recognizing the benefits of outdoor experiences and acknowledging that they can strengthen academic learning, national movements in Europe and Canada, as well as some local U.S. efforts, have recently focused on improving school grounds. Titman's seminal research has helped fuel these efforts because it indicates that poorly designed and maintained school yards actually lower children's self-esteem. Thus, as children spend increasing amounts of time in institutions--year-round schools and child care centers--the urgency to provide decent play spaces should logically intensify. School ground improvers emphasize several benefits. First, the curriculum of the school can be enhanced by a good outdoor environment. Individual schools and school districts can align their curriculum and physical environments. Recent national research indicates that when the outdoor environment is used to integrate a school's curriculum, achievement is higher.

Second, environmental degradation such as erosion and run-off can be eased with planting and storm-water pond projects, which also teach children the value of stewardship and activism. Young children can participate in such projects, particularly with older children as partners, creating service-learning opportunities for both.

Third, habitats for small creatures such as birds and insects restore to children a chance to acquire firsthand, multi-sensory knowledge of the natural world, now too often unavailable to them. Butterfly and other gardens are increasingly popular school yard additions. The National Gardening Association and the National Wildlife Federation, among others, offer many resources to support school gardens and habitats.

Fourth, safer school yards are more likely to be used by teachers and children. Well-designed structures with resilient surfacing under them are critical to safety; other considerations are supervision and maintenance. Increasingly, too, there is evidence that richly provisioned school yards reduce aggressive play. Finally, a good school ground and the process of improving and maintaining it can be the center of a community, helping to restore for children the links between school and home.

DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTS
Design of outdoor play areas begins with the young child's needs and directions of growth. A developmentally appropriate space is a major element of the curriculum--where there is sand, there can be exploration of sand. Designs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary children differ. The design guide for federal agency child care centers offers a good overview.
Infants need modulated sensory stimulation and increasing physical opportunities. This includes interesting things to look at from a horizontal as well as vertical position, protection from excess wind and sun, pleasant colors and sounds, places to crawl and things to pull up on as they develop these skills, and the ability to watch but not be knocked over by older children. Elements to consider include waving grasses and leaves, mobiles stirred by the breeze, high vines that attract birds and butterflies, and soft wind chimes. Porches with translucent roofs, smooth floors for creeping, and vertical railings (spaced to avoid entrapment) for pulling up on, provide an outdoor experience without rain or excess sun. Ramps instead of stairs allow for safe creeping, as well as gravity experiments ("How did that ball get down there?" "Will it do it again?").

Toddlers require places and spaces for acting out prepositions--over, under, on top of, inside, outside, behind, in front of, up, and down--because their physical development is paramount and fuels their cognitive development. In addition to safe, appropriately sized playground structures, toddlers like low hills to clamber up and down. A slide imbedded in the hill provides another way down. A large sand area, arranged to be covered when not in use, is a place for socializing. Experiencing water is vital--water table, hose, sprinkler. Trees that change colors or offer pinecones, shade, and possibly fruit are enjoyable for adults as well as children. Behind a low fence, gardens give color and fragrance but minimize contact with bees and wasps. Poured rubber walkways provide even, soft areas for practicing walking and then running, as well as for push-toys and wheeled toys. As with infants, porches extend the use of the outdoors and serve as a transitional zone between the classroom and the yard.

Preschoolers continue rapid physical development, and with increasing social and language skills, require a yard with many opportunities. Running, climbing, hopping, jumping, sliding, dancing, and spinning require large-motor structures, trikes, wagons, wheelbarrows, hills, and paths. Sociodramatic and individual imaginative play is fundamental to preschoolers' development, and such play is supported by playhouses equipped to become homes, convenience stores, forts, or restaurants as youngsters' interests require. Outdoor storage holds play props and art supplies, encouraging teachers to make art available where messes don't matter much and creation is inspired--"Can you paint the wind?" Sand and water play are also required for preschoolers' knowledge of the physical world, an entry point into play with others, and for creative expression. Gardening, especially in trike-resistant raised beds, teaches preschoolers about growing and caring for plants. Preschoolers are intrigued by the insects gardens attract, including butterflies. Outdoor storage for tools and hoses helps here; children play at gardening, teachers do the gritty maintenance work.

Primary children need much of what preschoolers need but also require places to sit, read, talk, draw, and do homework. Provision for group activities such as a basketball hoop, ground graphics such as hundred-squares and hopscotch, and an amphitheater are desirable. Materials for projects--wood, paint, cardboard, clay, tools--allow initiative and industry. In some centers, primary children enjoy being with the younger children, developing skills as mentors and play leaders. Children also benefit physically from freely playing in wooded areas.

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