Planning Play...The Natural Way

The Canadian Parks Council estimates we spend 90% of our time indoors. Yikes! Their Nature Playbook is packed with ideas to help us facilitate outdoor experiences and reconnect with nature.

Program Idea: No Rain, No Gain
Rain is no reason to stay inside. With a little planning and the proper outdoor clothing, kids will love the idea of a puddle jumping contest. 

Community Concept: Natural Playgrounds
Swings and slides never go out of style but natural playgrounds are increasing in popularity. Logs, tunnels, hills and rocks can be equally as fun and are an important part of imaginative play.

Program Idea: ‘Learn-to’
Learn to hike, camp, fish...the options are endless. Introductory programs offer an opportunity to develop new skills and are a great way to engage all ages and abilities in what the great outdoors has to offer.

Community Concept: Pop-Up Parks
Transform a parking space with some trees and a park bench. Turn a vacant lot into a community garden. Small or large,
green space benefits all.

Program Idea: Inside Out
Take your normal routine outdoors. Have a picnic, read a book or if you are planning a program for others, consider holding a concert, open mic night or a yoga class in a nearby park.

Written by Lori Ross, SPRA Communications Consultant

*Information adapted from Canadian Parks Council, (2016). The Nature Playbook – Take Action to Connect a New Generation of Canadians with Nature. Available at

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of DIRECTION Magazine.