Young Children and Nature: Outdoor Play and Development, Experiences Fostering Environmental Consciousness, And the Implications on Playground Design

dc.contributor.authorParsons, Ashleyen
dc.contributor.committeechairClements, Terry L.en
dc.contributor.committeememberKaten, Brian F.en
dc.contributor.committeememberMollin, Marian B.en
dc.contributor.committeememberHirt, Sonia A.en
dc.contributor.departmentLandscape Architectureen
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T20:35:22Zen
dc.date.adate2011-06-09en
dc.date.available2014-03-14T20:35:22Zen
dc.date.issued2011-04-11en
dc.date.rdate2011-06-09en
dc.date.sdate2011-05-06en
dc.description.abstractPlay is a pivotal part of a child’s life. Outdoor play fosters opportunities for creativity, imagination, social connections, and learned behaviors. There are two types of outdoor playscapes: natural and constructed. Natural playscapes offer sensory stimulation and physical diversity which is critical for childhood experiences outdoors. Through careful design, constructed playscapes can be greened to simulate natural playscapes. Greening is the integration of natural elements and processes in a playscape. Children’s direct social and individual experiences in nature in early to middle childhood during the “developmental window of opportunity” between the ages of three and twelve years help shape their environmental identity and guide their environmental actions. Outdoor play in greened playscapes has a positive effect on children’s social development, motor skill development, attention, and activity level. It also can provide children with experiences in naturalistic landscapes which could impact their morals, values and actions. School yards have the ability to assist in teaching children and act as a safe-haven where parental concerns for safety and risk do not inhibit play. Understanding the relationships between play, experiences in nature, environmental identity, the health, learning, attention, and development benefits of outdoor play, and the evolution of playscape design, a series of guidelines can be created to provide better childhood playscapes.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Landscape Architectureen
dc.identifier.otheretd-05062011-114155en
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05062011-114155/en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/32281en
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.relation.haspartParsons_AE_T_2011.pdfen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectNatureen
dc.subjectChildrenen
dc.subjectPlayen
dc.subjectPlaygrounden
dc.subjectPrimary Schoolen
dc.subjectEnvironmental Identityen
dc.titleYoung Children and Nature: Outdoor Play and Development, Experiences Fostering Environmental Consciousness, And the Implications on Playground Designen
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.disciplineLandscape Architectureen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Landscape Architectureen
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