Creating Unique Learning Opportunities through the Design of a Natural Outdoor Environment for Learning and Play

By Shahnaz Aly.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 25, 2016 $US5.00

This paper discusses the research and design of a natural, outdoor environment for one elementary school in the City of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The nature of children’s play and activity, the things that keep children occupied has changed dramatically. In present times most children are not free to roam around in streets, alleys or even play without adult supervision. The little outdoor play that children have is structured outdoor play with playground equipment that is manufactured and sterile overshadowing the free spirit of exploration in children. The proliferation of digital media and devices has become a focal point of a child’s day with many children preferring to be inside spending time on these devices rather than exploring and playing outdoors. Through the creation of a natural playscape, one elementary school hopes to create an exploratory environment for their students, to move the classroom beyond the indoors and to include play and learning opportunities, increase motor skills, engage children’s senses, and provide the teachers with an environment rich with teaching opportunities.

Keywords: Natural Playscape, Outdoor Environments, Children

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 25, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.089MB)).

Shahnaz Aly

Assistant Professor of Architectural Science, Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences, Ogden College of Science and Engineering, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA