Nature play playgrounds have been popping up all over Adelaide recently, replacing the traditional multiplay playground equipment once found in many places. They offer more fun for kids who really love variety, especially unusual play equipment such as at St Kilda adventure playground, and even the more modest pirate ship that was at Goodale Reserve until recently.
Nature play is all about stimulating children by encouraging them to interact with their environment, and nature play in parks is a popular ongoing program of activities from Nature Play SA. However if you don't have time to travel to a national park or recreation reserve, a local nature playground is a great alternative for active children.
The Best Nature Play Playgrounds Help Kids Connect to the Environment
Nature play playgrounds have a few features which distinguish them from the older style plastic multiplay play equipment found almost everywhere. New nature playgrounds in Adelaide aim to recreate natural landscapes in miniature, allowing children to play naturally as their grandparents once did. These playgrounds have contoured or uneven surfaces, often with logs, steps, running water and a sandpit - quite like a creek environment.
There may be rocks to sit on, tree branches to play with, and even materials to make a cubby house. Ideally the playground will be aesthetically attractive and clean, with some natural vegetation and grass, catering for a range of ages including toddlers and older children.
Here are a few new nature playgrounds that we have visited recently - feel free to add to the list in the comments.
Free Activities for Kids in Jervois Street Playground South Plympton
Jervois Street Reserve Playground South Plympton The Jervois Street Reserve Playground is set in attractive landscaped surroundings, with facilities including a picnic shelter and toilets. It has been mentioned as dog friendly, but while the nature playground is fully fenced, the reserve is not.
Toddlers love to play in the sandpit with running water, and there are buckets, spades and other toys to encourage creative play. A series of steps to the top of a mound lead to dual slides, and a tunnel through the mound is a great idea and is well used. There are lots of fun things to do for kids, and also an outdoor gym and chess tables for adults. Well done City of Marion.
Katherine Street Reserve Playground Fullarton At Katherine Street Reserve nature play is an integral part of the fun for kids and toddlers, with a large sandpit and running water set in a pleasant environment with a natural feel, There's a picnic shelter and even in-ground trampolines, but the playground is not fenced - beware if you have child who is a runner.
Kids Love Natural Play in the Sandpit at Ossie Goldsworthy Playground
Ossie Goldsworthy Reserve Playground Blackwood The new nature playground at Ossie Goldsworthy Reserve in Blackwood is in a typical natural Adelaide Hills setting - it doesn't even need shade sails due to the number of trees. It too has sandpit and water, with a multiplay piece of play equipment that looks natural with its wood construction. I imagine the playground will get muddy in winter, but I guess nature play is for adults too.
Climb Into the Eagle's Perch Birds Nest at Morialta Conservation Park Playground
More New Nature Playgrounds A new nature playground at Morialta Conservation Park is inspired by nature and will have five themed play areas, with structures created from recycled or sustainable materials. The seven metre tall Eagle's Perch is crowned with a giant bird's nest, while at Frog Island children can discover an Aboriginal fire pit, search for animal carvings in the bush and use stepping stones to cross a creek.
Fun for Kids: Giant Gum Nuts and Log Seats at Ossie Goldsworthy Reserve Playground
At Barrans Reserve nature play playground in Lower Mitcham there's a jungle theme on a more modest scale than at Morialta Conservation Park. Kids can take a ride in a jeep, sit on a snake springer, or mimic Tarzan and Jane on the multiplay structure. While it's fully fenced, there are no toilet facilities.
Original Nature Play - Climbing Trees at Belair National Park
Nature Play in Adelaide Parklands
Of course Adelaide parklands and parks have always been nature play playgrounds - long before the term was even thought of. Our parklands are perfectly placed to provide free nature play activities for kids, with their natural environment, small creeks, and wildlife. Take a walk in Park 6to get close to nature with horses, follow the Wirrarninthi Trail through wetlands in Park 23 or get other ideas from a free ebook you can download.
Natural Timber Play Equipment at Ossie Goldsworthy Reserve Playground
What do you think are the best nature play playgrounds in Adelaide?
After visiting these new playgrounds recently, we wondered where are the best playgrounds for nature play in Adelaide? When chatting to people that I met, I found that many parents (and grandparents) try out playgrounds in quite a wide area, so we'd love to hear your opinion. Why not post your choice in the comments?
My grand daughter likes the Ossie Goldsworthy Reserve and it will no doubt become muddy after a rainy day.There is a shelter there with table and bench seats and soon a water fountain to be installed.No toilets though.Parking is easy though..the reserve sits between 2 roads..take your pick.The natural setting gives it a nice feeling.Just down the road are the Magpie Creek walking trails..they can take you to the Blackwood Oval and a far as Bellevue Hts/Sturt Gorge if you wish.One does not often see tawny frogmouth owls,but we saw 3 perched in Sheoak tree on the high side of the reserve.The park has only been established recently and is proving to be very popular and will perhaps become overcrowded on fine weekends.It will take you 30 mins to get there from Glenelg.It is located close to the Coromandel Railway Stn.Go down Brighton Pde. cross the railway line and turn right at the next corner into Johnson Pde.This road goes downhill and you follow this road..it will swing to the left and then a little bit further down on the right hand side you will see the reserve and playground.Brighton Pde. runs off Shepherds Hill Rd.,just before you get to the Blackwood Shopping Centre.