Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural playgrounds more beneficial to children, inspire more play, study finds

Date:
October 11, 2012
Source:
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Summary:
Children who play on playgrounds that incorporate natural elements like logs and flowers tend to be more active than those who play on traditional playgrounds with metal and brightly colored equipment, according to a recent study.

Children who play on playgrounds that incorporate natural elements like logs and flowers tend to be more active than those who play on traditional playgrounds with metal and brightly colored equipment, according to a recent UT study.

They also appear to use their imagination more, according to the report.

The study, which examined changes in physical activity levels and patterns in young children exposed to both traditional and natural playgrounds, is among the first of its kind in the United States, according to Dawn Coe, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies.

"Natural playgrounds have been popping up around the country but there was nothing conclusive on if they work," she said. "Now, we know."

For the study, Coe observed children at UT's Early Learning Center. She began in June 2011 by observing the children while the center still had traditional wood and plastic equipment. She logged how often they used the slides and other apparatus, studied the intensity of their activity, and how much time they spent in a porch area to get shade from the sun.

The Early Learning Center staff then began renovations of the playground and over several months added a gazebo and slides that were built into a hill. They planted dwarf trees, built a creek, and landscaped it with rocks and flowers. They also added logs and tree stumps. They turned it into what Coe called a "natural playscape."

Coe, working with Cary Springer, a statistician with the Office of Information Technology, returned for follow-up observations this year and found significant differences between usage of the traditional and natural playground.

The children more than doubled the time they spent playing, from jumping off the logs to watering the plants around the creek. They were engaging in more aerobic and bone- and muscle-strengthening activities.

"This utilized motor skills, too," Coe said.

She also found that the children were less sedentary and used the porch area less after the renovation.

Coe is preparing a manuscript of the study to submit for publication.

"Natural playscapes appear to be a viable alternative to traditional playgrounds for school and community settings," Coe said. "Future studies should look at these changes long-term as well as the nature of the children's play."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "Natural playgrounds more beneficial to children, inspire more play, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011135036.htm>.
University of Tennessee at Knoxville. (2012, October 11). Natural playgrounds more beneficial to children, inspire more play, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011135036.htm
University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "Natural playgrounds more beneficial to children, inspire more play, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011135036.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins