APRC Fall 2017 PlayGuide | 541.488.5340 | The Grove at 1195 E Main St, Ashland 24 green living tips Remember Playing Outside ‘till Dinner Time? Today’s children are experiencing a different kind of childhood. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the average American child may spend as few as 30 minutes in unstructured, outdoor play each day. Research shows that childhood nature experiences can decrease obesity, improve vision, reduce ADHD symptoms, improve scholastic performance, reduce anxiety, and encourage conservation later in life. Let’s work toward those goals—together! “Nature Play Areas” that are safe and accessible can help re-connect children to the natural world. NaturePlaygroundsprovidesimplestructuresandnatural materials that inspire imagination! While a swing-set is just for swinging, a few sticks or logs can be endlessly play-able, jump-able, pile-able, and balance-able. Rocks, sand, hollow logs, and running water encourage climbing, construction, experimentation and problem-solving. Neighborhood parks are an easily accessible option for developing nature play spaces, while educational centers, like North Mountain Park, can design and manage such spaces for fun and safety. Join Us as We Plan for Nature Play We will host a Community Meeting about a new Nature Play Area proposed for North Mountain Park. YOU are invited on Wednesday, October 18, at 6:30 p.m. at The Grove. —Details p. 37 To Encourage Nature Play at Home: • Make time for unstructured play with leaves, water, sticks, rocks and dirt! • Create a space to display natural treasures. • Offer tools like magnifiers, bug boxes and trowels. • Let kids take risks and find their own boundaries. • Remember, nature is a multi-sensory, messy, “full-contact sport”!