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Over the years we've noticed that many of our clients do not finish building their natural play environments. According to them, after building about 30% of the design, the playground looked so much better, and kids were having so much more fun, that the drive to finish their natural playgrounds died out.
Unfortunately, this meant that the few play elements that were completed got overused and rapidly deteriorated. The playgrounds then looked bad, everyone got discouraged, and instead of trying to complete the original natural playground design, traditional equipment was brought back into the playground to try solving the problems.
Soon the cycle will start again. Kids will be bored with the equipment, they’ll want more things to do, they’ll want to be more creative, and the appeal of natural playgrounds will loom large once again.
So this is a reminder: finish building the whole design as quickly as you can. It is meant to work as a whole. Expecting that it will function as it should when it’s only 30% complete, is like expecting your watch to work with only 30% of its parts, or like your school to function with only 30% of its staff.
And one last note: a change in administration brings in new people who may not be aware of the natural playground concept. Take the time to go over the Natural Playground design with them, and to discuss all the wonderful reasons why you initially chose to go in the direction of a more natural play environment.