Outdoor Nature Play Space-Powerful Medicine for Behaviour Issues

Young children today cope with so many stressors in their lives.  Divorced parents, parents with careers that involve travel, parents with jobs that involve long hours, older siblings hectic sports practices, lack of extended family close by and busy schedules.  This type of life style sets children up for a lack of sleep, lack of healthy home cooked meals, lack of routine and lack of down time.  Many daycare providers work hard on a daily basis to provide a healthy constant environment to help young children achieve a balance in their busy lives.

Most behaviour management issues with children can be solved easily once balance has been restored in their young lives.  A daycare provider can make a big impact on a child’s ability to cope.  Children benefit greatly from spending time in nature acting out their own imaginative play.  Natural objects such as wood, moss, leaves, pine cones and rocks seem to help rebalance a child.  When children are given a chunk of time to play freely they will act out issues they are dealing with internally.  This type of play can have therapeutic results.

Consider adding a natural play space to your yard to facilitate imaginative play for your daycare children.  It’s wonderful to see the children creating new games everyday with simple objects.  They work hard at their play and come away from their time outside refreshed and rebalanced.  I find it is the easiest remedy for a wide range of behavioural issues.

We have been slowly building our natural play space.  I acquired a few stumps from a family friend’s cottage, we collected some sticks and a basket of pine cones from a nature walk.  Then last week our neighbours tree was cut down and I asked the tree cutters if I could have the left over stumps. They were happy to oblige and even cut some thin slices for us.

 You can tell in the picture the fresh stumps compared to the older ones.  It took some time and effort to put together our play space but it has been worth the work. The children move the stumps around to balance on them or create houses, ships and forts.

We have also discovered it’s a great place to play in the winter.  Have fun in the great outdoors!


  1. I want to make my outdoor area better for the kids but where I live has a lot of spiders and black widows. Every little crack and crevices become potential threat. I am working on making this better. Any suggestions how to make a safer outdoor area?? Other than checking for spiders regularly. I already do that!

    • HowToDaycare says

      We don’t have a lot of spiders where I live but I do know spiders dislike peppermint essential oil. It would also make sense to eliminate their habitat and food source as much as possible. Here are a few suggestions that you could try.
      Good Luck!