Create Your Own Play
This ‘play space’ at Enniskillen Conservation Area provides children with the opportunity to create their own play in a forest area equipped with natural play materials (loose parts, e.g., rails, sticks, stones, logs, tree cookies).
The play space is contained within cedar rail fencing and in a forested area with little vegetation on the ground, to minimize off-trail impacts. The Nature Nook was created with the knowledge that child-directed play helps with the development of the whole child — cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills.
Research has also shown that this type of play contributes to school success and is both a necessary and important part of a child’s life. Children who play in natural landscapes appear to be healthier, have improved motor skills, balance and coordination, and demonstrate more creativity in their play. When playing outside, children also benefit from being exposed to sunlight, natural elements, and open air, which contribute to stronger immune systems.
The intentionally irregular boundaries formed by the snaking cedar rail fence and internal fenced islands were designed to give students a sense of freedom and a desire to explore while containing them within a safe space with defined limits.
Use of the space at lunch time during a full-day booking is free of charge.A $25 fee applies
for the use of the space for a half-day booking.
Developmental Benefits of Adventure Play:
The Risks are a concern for adults when children engage in nature-based, outdoor free play. Risks are commonly viewed as something to
be avoided, especially for children, yet researchers are learning that exposure to risk is an important part of child development. Advocates for “risky play” are encouraging child care providers to offer opportunities that are “as safe as necessary” rather than “as safe as possible”.
The 2008 Play Safety Forum Managing Risk in Play Provision: A Position Statement, defines a Hazard as a danger in the environment that could seriously injure or endanger a child and is beyond the child’s capacity to recognize and a Risk is defined as “the challenges and uncertainties within the environment that a child can recognize and learn to manage by choosing to encounter them while determining their own limits.
Risks not Hazards