In recent years, the concept of natural playgrounds has gained significant attention and popularity. These playgrounds, designed to incorporate elements of nature and promote unstructured play, provide children with a unique and enriching play experience. However, as with any trending concept, the term “natural playgrounds” has become a buzzword that is often overused and lacks specificity. To help diversify our vocabulary and promote a deeper understanding of these play areas, here are 10 alternative phrases that can be used interchangeably with “natural playgrounds”.

  1. Eco-Playgrounds: This term emphasizes the ecological aspect of these play areas, highlighting the use of natural materials and sustainable design principles.
  2. Nature-Inspired Play Zones: This phrase emphasizes the inspiration drawn from natural environments in the design and layout of the play areas.
  3. Wild Playgrounds: Wild playgrounds evoke a sense of adventure and exploration, emphasizing the unstructured and free play experiences offered.
  4. Adventure Parks: This term conveys the idea that these playgrounds are meant to provide thrilling and exciting experiences, akin to an adventure in the wilderness.
  5. Green Playscapes: Green playscapes emphasize the presence of vegetation, landscaping, and plants in the play areas, creating a visually appealing and environmentally friendly space.
  6. Organic Playgrounds: Organic playgrounds highlight the use of natural and non-toxic materials in the construction and design, promoting a safe and healthy play environment.
  7. Nature-Interactive Play Areas: This phrase emphasizes the interactive elements within the play spaces that encourage children to engage and connect with nature.
  8. Wilderness Play Spaces: Wilderness play spaces evoke the notion of being immersed in a natural, untamed environment, offering children a sense of exploration and connection with the natural world.
  9. Forest Playgrounds: Forest playgrounds specifically highlight the incorporation of trees and forest elements into the play areas, creating a woodland atmosphere.
  10. Biophilic Playgrounds: Biophilic playgrounds emphasize the connection between humans and nature, focusing on the use of natural elements to create a calming and restorative environment.

By expanding our vocabulary and using these alternative phrases, we can foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diverse range of play experiences that natural playgrounds offer. Let’s embrace these new terms and continue to advocate for the importance of unstructured, nature-based play and natural playground equipment in the lives of children.

California Academy of Science Nature Playspace

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