For 25 years, our family owned business has been the leading expert in designing this country's most beautiful, intriguing, cost-effective, safe, and philosophically appropriate Natural Playgrounds for K-12 schools, Montessori schools, Head Start programs, childcare centers, and communities. (That's me in the photo, Ron King, founder and president, with my son Ethan, CEO. I'm the one with the white hair :)
If you've ever climbed trees, made forts, climbed rocks, made mud pies, dammed up water, dug in sand, jumped in leaves, or had fun outside in other, similar ways, you've experienced natural play.
All 6,000 children we've interviewed want these very same, natural play opportunities. Offer them a choice, and every time they'll choose Natural Playgrounds over equipment playgrounds (see "a child's perspective").
This is very interesting, because the research says: Natural Play contributes to the overall physical, cognitive, and emotional development of children, helps them score higher on tests for concentration and self-discipline, helps them experience more diverse play, and helps them exhibit less aggressive behavior, strive toward advanced motor fitness, and become healthier. See research here.
Natural Playgrounds offer financial benefits, as well. They're less expensive than equipment, they aren't replaced when safety regulations change, and they lower playground injuries (which cost the US over $13 billion every year).
They also offer higher play value at lower cost, they're part of the greening movement that reduces costly environmental impacts while improving wildlife habitats and beautifying surroundings, and because they use indigenous plants and local materials, they have a very low carbon footprint!