Natural Playgrounds For Preschools

Preschools that encourages children to explore, learn, and develop through nature-based play.

 

Playgrounds Designed with Natural Elements for Preschools

Natural playgrounds for pre-schools are a growing trend in early childhood education that encourages children to explore, learn, and develop through nature-based play. Unlike traditional playgrounds that are made of plastic and metal, natural playgrounds are designed with natural materials such as logs, rocks, sand, and living plants. These playgrounds aim to create a more sensory-rich environment that stimulates a child’s imagination and supports their physical, cognitive, and social development.

One of the key benefits of natural playgrounds is their ability to promote creativity and imaginative play. With an abundance of natural elements, children are encouraged to use their imagination to transform sticks into magic wands, tree stumps into castles, and leaves into currency for make-believe games.

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Click on the elements below to learn more about each component.

Child Care
Log Carved Couch Post Mount Transparent Acrylic Panel 5-Piece Log Clusters Carved Log Chair Durolawn® Portable Water Pump

Log Carved Couch

Log Carved Couch

Description

Nature’s Instruments Carved Log Couches are hand-carved from large hardwood logs as one solid furniture piece and provide young and old with a sense of awe and amazement when sitting in these grandiose, artistic, and natural components.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Core Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The carved couches can be seen as a piece of furniture or in a child’s eyes, a climbing structure. Either situation offers nice motor planning, balance and coordination and great tactile input. The armrests allow children additional support when they are climbing or stabilizing themselves on the carved chair. When used as a climbing structure it offers nice vestibular and proprioceptive input.

Post Mount Transparent Acrylic Panel

Post Mount Acrylic Panel

Description

Use an post mount transparent acrylic panel as a fence panel to separate two spaces in your playground. All acrylic boards are 4’x8′ framed in cedar. Custom sizes available.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
Motor
Motor: Eye Hand Coordination, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
Cognitive
Cognitive: Focus, Attention, Comprehension
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The size of the post mount transparent acrylic panel allows children to have a great range of motion when painting. Children can paint 4 feet up and 8 feet across. For children with core balance issues, painting on this outdoor panel is a subtle way at supporting their goals. For a more directed approach the large size of the acrylic board can also support children to walk, skip, hop and/or run along the side of the board while chalking providing many types of sensory experiences all in one activity. The acrylic board can be installed as a fence panel or a few feet higher to accommodate for a wheelchair.

5-Piece Log Clusters

Log Clusters

Description

Nature’s Instruments Log Clusters are a unique collection of logs crafted with varying heights and diameters that can act as a retaining wall, part of a log border, a gathering space, and a physical challenge all at once. Crafted from natural hardwood logs, our 5-piece vertical log clusters offer versatile play opportunities that range from balancing and leaping to quiet exploration of the shapes and textures of nature.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
Motor
Motor: Core Strength, Upper Body strength, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline
Cognitive
Cognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention, Comprehension
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

Log clusters are open to so many opportunities. It’s seating, climbing and dramatic play all rolled into one. It enhances balance, coordination, motor planning, while offering vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile input. These clusters also offer hard surfaces for table top activities.

Carved Log Chair

Carved Log Chair

Description

Nature’s Instruments Carved Log Armchairs are hand-carved from large tree stumps as one solid furniture piece and provide young and old with a sense of awe and amazement when sitting in these grandiose, artistic, and natural ‘thrones’.

*Debarking of component available for a fee.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
Motor
Motor: Core Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
Cognitive
Cognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Communication
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Social/Emotional
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The carved chairs can be seen as a piece of furniture or in a child’s eyes, a climbing structure. Either situation offers nice motor planning, balance and coordination and great tactile input. The armrests allow children additional support when they are climbing or stabilizing themselves on the carved chair. When used as a climbing structure it offers nice vestibular and proprioceptive input.

Durolawn®

Durolawn®

Description

Durolawn® is a rubber matting system that is installed on top of grass, and after a few months the grass grows through and the mats disappear. This product protects the crowns of the roots of your grass ensuring its survival. Are you looking for a playground surface that is accessible this product is for you – no more barriers or retaining systems are needed to separate your surfacing!

Developmental Value

Different textures offer a variety of sensory experiences for both hands, and feet. Children can quickly adapt to the amount of pressure and control that is needed to walk, crawl, run and jump on the different surfaces. Whole body experiences are even possible when children roll on the grass and play in the sand and/or soil. Adding different surfaces also provides olfactory input. A variety of the surfaces can be easily manipulated by children (sand, mulch, river rock, soil, logs) enabling them to engage in heavy work activities. The use of shovels and wheelbarrows can add to the heavy work performed by the children when moving sand, mulch, river rock, soil and logs.

Portable Water Pump

Portable Water Pump

Description

Nature’s Instruments Portable Water Pump brings water to an outdoor space. This ships fully assembled with a removable bucket to provide water at a measurable pace. This component can be toted to a sand area and then stored when not needed. The bilge pump is able to handle water mixed with sand and dirt and can be operated by school age children.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Auditory, Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular

Motor

Motor: Eye Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Upper Body Strength, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning

Cognitive

Cognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention

Social/Emotional

Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation

Communication

Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This activity requires children to pump water while they organize the hose for the water to come out. Children can work together to make the pump work or can problem-solve how to make it work on their own. The pumping motion takes strength and balance to complete. It’s a great activity that provides both proprioceptive and vestibular skills where balance and movement are coordinated.

Child Care
Log Tunnel Portable Water Pump Wacky Posts Vertical Log Border 5 Foot Easy Install Wave Hill Slide Durolawn® Stump Activity Table Portable Ball Run Log Forts Horizontal Log Borders Chalk Board Acrylic Mirror Panels

Log Tunnel

Log Tunnel

Description

Perfect for infant and toddler playgrounds, the Log Tunnel is made from a solid hardwood log and ships at a 30″-36″ diameter at a length of 30″-36″. We offer a public and private installation versions of this component. Larger tunnels are available as a custom item, please contact us for pricing information.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
Motor
Motor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
Cognitive
Cognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

Tunnels are fun for all ages! It’s fun to crawl, walk and run through and gives children the opportunity to practice their motor planning skills while moving through the tunnel. This helps a child develop core strength and body coordination skills. The tunnel is rough on the outside and smooth on the inside, providing contrasting sensory experiences. Children can use the tunnel for playing with another child or use it as a quiet space to reflect. Children can also climb the outside of the tunnel – providing more strength and motor planning opportunities.

Portable Water Pump

Portable Water Pump

Description

Bring water to an outdoor space with our portable water pump! This ships fully assembled, and since it is portable you can place it near a sand surface or sensory table! This pump is able to handle water mixed with sand and dirt.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Auditory, Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Eye Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Upper Body Strength, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This activity requires children to pump water while they organize the hose for the water to come out. Children can work together to make the pump work or can problem-solve how to make it work on their own. The pumping motion takes strength and balance to complete. It’s a great activity that provides both proprioceptive and vestibular skills where balance and movement are coordinated.

Wacky Posts

Wacky Posts

Description

Nature’s Instruments Wacky Posts are irregularly shaped posts hewn from trees with large knots and twists, and encourage creative and dramatic play. With the imagination and creativity of children, these simple posts are transformed into store fronts, forts mazes and frames for leaf or snow forts. This item requires installation.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Upper Body Strength, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention, Comprehension
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

These simple, carved posts add so much to a natural playground. This component supports dramatic play, expressive language, gross motor development, social skills and sensory skills. Wacky posts offer nice structural supports for building forts that engage children in working together, problem-solving and expressing themselves. These forts can be carried over into a dramatic play by simply adding natural loose parts or large swaths of fabric, reinforcing children’s creative, expressive and social skills. The wacky posts also offer a tactile experience with contrasting smooth and knotted textures and an irregularly curved shape. Children can also try and climb the posts, an activity that supports the development of core and upper body strength. Adding ropes or slack lines between the posts is another fun and simple way to support balance, core strength, upper body strength, coordination and motor planning.

Vertical Log Border

Vertical Log Border

Description

The vertical cedar log borders are sold in 1.2m lengths. We also offer a barrier free cedar log border that is also sold in 1.2m lengths. Please note these items are not available outside of Canada.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Core Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This component offers motor planning, balance and vestibular opportunities. Children can take their shoes off and engage in a tactile sensory experience. The logs in the border are all different sizes and heights allowing children to be constantly engaged while walking up and down the logs. Children can jump off the logs, providing proprioceptive input to their muscles and joints. In a child’s imagination, the log border can become a snake, dinosaur or a magical hideaway. Its open-ended suggestive nature lends itself to work with the children’s interests.

5 Foot Easy Install Wave Hill Slide

5 Foot Easy Install Wave Hill Slide

Description

If you ask children what they want in their playground, they’ll always include a slide. Nature’s Instruments Hill Slides are the perfect way to give them what they want, while eliminating the fall height of a traditional slide.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Olfactory, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Core Strength, Upper Body Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention, Comprehension
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

Hill Slides provide nice motor planning and vestibular opportunities. Young children can practice increasing their core strength when going down the slide. Increase the challenge and risk of the activity, and have the children climb up the slide and go down the slides with their heads in different positions – perfect for increasing vestibular input. Attaching a rope at the top of the slide with supervision allows children to strengthen their upper body to climb up the slide. The double slide also provides a nice social opportunity for children to slide together or create games. Placing herbs along the side of the hill slides can increase olfactory engagement in a very subtle but powerful way.

Durolawn®

Durolawn®

Description

Durolawn® is a rubber matting system that is installed on top of grass, and after a few months the grass grows through and the mats disappear. This product protects the crowns of the roots of your grass ensuring its survival. Are you looking for a playground surface that is accessible this product is for you – no more barriers or retaining systems are needed to separate your surfacing!

Developmental Value

Different textures offer a variety of sensory experiences for both hands, and feet. Children can quickly adapt to the amount of pressure and control that is needed to walk, crawl, run and jump on the different surfaces. Whole body experiences are even possible when children roll on the grass and play in the sand and/or soil. Adding different surfaces also provides olfactory input. A variety of the surfaces can be easily manipulated by children (sand, mulch, river rock, soil, logs) enabling them to engage in heavy work activities. The use of shovels and wheelbarrows can add to the heavy work performed by the children when moving sand, mulch, river rock, soil and logs.

Stump Activity Table

Stump Activity Table

Description

Stump tables differ from activity tables but can also be used for outdoor learning environments and activity centres. Not only are they functional for any playground; they double as art pieces as well.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline
CognitiveCognitive: Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The stump table provides opportunities to participate in focussed activities and/or climbing structure for children. Its height and stability is perfect for children using a walker. When used as a climber it provides proprioceptive input. The combination of stump seating with the stump table allows a nice seating/gathering/snack area, as well as a temporary obstacle course.

Portable Ball Run

Portable Ball Run

Description

The Portable Ball Run is a movable component is a great way to use your vertical spaces. No Installation required! Great for all ages.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Auditory, Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive
MotorMotor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This giant ball run offers so much for every child. This cause and effect game is visually stimulating, and adding metal balls creates an auditory element when the balls clang against each other. Children are motivated to motor plan their actions to keep the balls moving down the track at a fast pace. Adding different types of balls to the game allows children to make connections about speed and how it is affected by the size, texture and shape of the balls used in the runs.

Log Forts

Log Forts

Description

Nature’s Instruments log work structures provide a shady place to gather, in much the same way as a big hollow tree or a cave. Children can find refuge beneath the scale of the trunks as they lean back to read a book, draw or simply steal a moment. We offer two different standard sized forts.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual
Motor
Motor: Balance, Coordination
CognitiveCognitive: Focus, Attention
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The log fort offers shade, shelter, space for dramatic play and provides a social gathering space for children.

Horizontal Log Borders

Horizontal Log Borders

Description

Log borders are a natural way to separate your surfacing while providing balancing opportunities for children. Nature’s Instruments log borders are sold by the linear foot and are available in cedar and hardwood. Barrier-free log borders are also available to allow for accessible entrances between your surfacing.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
Motor
Motor: Core Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
Cognitive
Cognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This component offers motor planning, balance and vestibular opportunities. Children can take their shoes off and engage in a tactile, sensory experience. Children can jump off the log providing proprioceptive input to their muscles and joints. In a child’s imagination the log border becomes a snake, dinosaur or a magical hideaway. Its open-ended, suggestive nature lends itself to work with the children’s interests.

Chalk Board

Chalk Board

Description

Nature’s Instruments chalkboard panels can be placed into sections of fence or against a blank wall to maximise the vertical space in a playground. The simple cedar frame boards are sealed for protection from the elements, and mural paper can be affixed to the wall using simple pins so that the art can be brought inside after completion.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
Motor
Motor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
Cognitive
Cognitive: Focus, Attention, Comprehension
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The 4’x8′ chalkboard allows children to have a great range of motion while writing and drawing. The large chalkboard allows children to easily play parallel, jointly or cooperatively with other children. For children with core balance issues, chalking at this outdoor chalkboard is a subtle way to support their goals. For a more directed approach, the large size of the chalkboard allows children to walk, skip, hop and run along the side of the board while drawing, providing many types of sensory experiences in a single activity. This component can be installed as a fence panel or at different heights to accommodate for wheelchairs.

Acrylic Mirror Panels

Mirror Walls

Description

Nature’s Instruments acrylic mirror panels are a great addition to any playground, with mirrors made of acrylic for safety. Placing two mirror panels together in a corner of a playground creates a fun and dramatic play area. These panels are 4’x8′ and framed in cedar. Custom sizes are available, please contact us for pricing.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
Motor
Motor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Fine Motor, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
Cognitive
Cognitive: Focus, Attention, Comprehension
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The size of the mirror is fantastic way for children to view themselves, their friends, and the environment around them. Mirrors can be placed in a high activity area for children to watch themselves in motion, or can be placed in a dramatic play corner to enhance their interactions. Mirrors can be painted on to add creative and fine motor opportunities.

Child Care
Curriculum Cabinet Activity Table Hardwood Stump Seats Chalk Board Hanging Amadinda Portable Water Pump Log Tunnel Stump Activity Table Acrylic Mirror Panels Vertical Log Border Horizontal Log Borders Two Bin Sensory Table

Curriculum Cabinet

Curriculum Cabinet

Description

This pine cabinet is designed to hold programming materials for educators, and is a great storage piece for all spaces. Never get lost inside deep storage again. This is a great way to have your programming materials right next to the area of programming to save time when prepping activities.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive
MotorMotor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Fine Motor, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication>Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The simple design of this narrow storage cabinet allows children to access materials independently and easily, as well as supporting them with clean-up. The inside of the doors provide a place to hang shovels and spades. Chalkboards are placed on the outside of the doors which provides an opportunity for children to draw independently or jointly.

Activity Table

Activity Table

Description

Stools and tables cut from fallen logs, and built for those up to 12 years of age, allow children the chance to play together or alone and create opportunities for outdoor learning. There are 3 different sizes of activity table available.
This item requires installation. Please note: The stump seating is not included with the table and must be purchased separately. This product is now available outside of Canada.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual
MotorMotor: Balance, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The activity table provides opportunities to participate in focused activities. Its height and stability is perfect for children using a walker. The combination of stump seating with the activity table provides stable seating which is great for gathering, delivering curriculum or just having snack.

Hardwood Stump Seats

Hardwood Stump Seats

Description

Natures Instruments stump seating is crafted from fallen logs to create stools and tables that allow children the chance to play together or alone, and create opportunities for outdoor learning.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive
Motor
Motor: Eye Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Upper Body Strength, Coordination, Motor Planning
Cognitive
Cognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The stump seating offers a good height and wide base for children to feel stable when used as a seat. The bark is left on to provide both visual and tactile experiences. The stumps are light enough for children to peek underneath for bugs and move around the playground to create an obstacle course, as well as supporting problem solving situations where height is needed. These activities support proprioceptive exercises of ‘heavy work’.

Chalk Board

Chalk Board

Description

Nature’s Instruments chalkboard panels can be placed into sections of fence or against a blank wall to maximise the vertical space in a playground. The simple cedar frame boards are sealed for protection from the elements, and mural paper can be affixed to the wall using simple pins so that the art can be brought inside after completion.

Developmental Value

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
Motor
Motor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
Cognitive
Cognitive: Focus, Attention, Comprehension
Social/Emotional
Social/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
Communication
Communication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The 4’x8′ chalkboard allows children to have a great range of motion while writing and drawing. The large chalkboard allows children to easily play parallel, jointly or cooperatively with other children. For children with core balance issues, chalking at this outdoor chalkboard is a subtle way to support their goals. For a more directed approach, the large size of the chalkboard allows children to walk, skip, hop and run along the side of the board while drawing, providing many types of sensory experiences in a single activity. This component can be installed as a fence panel or at different heights to accommodate for wheelchairs.

Hanging Amadinda

Hanging Amadinda

Description

This hanging amadinda is produced from Canadian cedar or spruce and designed to hang from a tree branch. The instrument has a beautiful tone and can be played by multiple users from either side of the instrument. It can be left raw, oiled with tung oil or dyed with non-toxic anodyne dyes. This is a beautiful, functional and simple instrument that is great for all ages.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Auditory, Tactile, Proprioceptive
MotorMotor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Upper Body Strength, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Memory, Attention, Comprehension
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This amadinda (xylophone) can be fixed to a frame offering a little more support for children who need it, while still allowing children to motor plan and engage their core muscles as they play the instrument. The hanging amadinda also encourages children to cross at the midline and offers auditory and proprioceptive input.

Portable Water Pump

Portable Water Pump

Description

Bring water to an outdoor space with our portable water pump! This ships fully assembled, and since it is portable you can place it near a sand surface or sensory table! This pump is able to handle water mixed with sand and dirt.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Auditory, Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Eye Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Upper Body Strength, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This activity requires children to pump water while they organize the hose for the water to come out. Children can work together to make the pump work or can problem-solve how to make it work on their own. The pumping motion takes strength and balance to complete. It’s a great activity that provides both proprioceptive and vestibular skills where balance and movement are coordinated.

Log Tunnel

Log Tunnel

Description

Perfect for infant and toddler playgrounds, the Log Tunnel is made from a solid hardwood log and ships at a 30″-36″ diameter at a length of 30″-36″. We offer a public and private installation versions of this component. Larger tunnels are available as a custom item, please contact us for pricing information.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

Tunnels are fun for all ages! It’s fun to crawl, walk and run through and gives children the opportunity to practice their motor planning skills while moving through the tunnel. This helps a child develop core strength and body coordination skills. The tunnel is rough on the outside and smooth on the inside, providing contrasting sensory experiences. Children can use the tunnel for playing with another child or use it as a quiet space to reflect. Children can also climb the outside of the tunnel – providing more strength and motor planning opportunities.

Stump Activity Table

Stump Activity Table

Description

Stump tables differ from activity tables but can also be used for outdoor learning environments and activity centres. Not only are they functional for any playground; they double as art pieces as well.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline
CognitiveCognitive: Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The stump table provides opportunities to participate in focussed activities and/or climbing structure for children. Its height and stability is perfect for children using a walker. When used as a climber it provides proprioceptive input. The combination of stump seating with the stump table allows a nice seating/gathering/snack area, as well as a temporary obstacle course.

Acrylic Mirror Panels

Mirror Walls

Description

Nature’s Instruments acrylic mirror panels are a great addition to any playground, with mirrors made of acrylic for safety. Placing two mirror panels together in a corner of a playground creates a fun and dramatic play area. These panels are 4’x8′ and framed in cedar. Custom sizes are available, please contact us for pricing.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
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MotorMotor: Eye-Hand Coordination, Fine Motor, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Focus, Attention, Comprehension
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

The size of the mirror is fantastic way for children to view themselves, their friends, and the environment around them. Mirrors can be placed in a high activity area for children to watch themselves in motion, or can be placed in a dramatic play corner to enhance their interactions. Mirrors can be painted on to add creative and fine motor opportunities.

Vertical Log Border

Vertical Log Border

Description

The vertical cedar log borders are sold in 1.2m lengths. We also offer a barrier free cedar log border that is also sold in 1.2m lengths. Please note these items are not available outside of Canada.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Core Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This component offers motor planning, balance and vestibular opportunities. Children can take their shoes off and engage in a tactile sensory experience. The logs in the border are all different sizes and heights allowing children to be constantly engaged while walking up and down the logs. Children can jump off the logs, providing proprioceptive input to their muscles and joints. In a child’s imagination, the log border can become a snake, dinosaur or a magical hideaway. Its open-ended suggestive nature lends itself to work with the children’s interests.

Horizontal Log Borders

Horizontal Log Borders

Description

Log borders are a natural way to separate your surfacing while providing balancing opportunities for children. Nature’s Instruments log borders are sold by the linear foot and are available in cedar and hardwood. Barrier-free log borders are also available to allow for accessible entrances between your surfacing.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Tactile, Visual, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Core Strength, Balance, Coordination, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Attention
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

This component offers motor planning, balance and vestibular opportunities. Children can take their shoes off and engage in a tactile, sensory experience. Children can jump off the log providing proprioceptive input to their muscles and joints. In a child’s imagination the log border becomes a snake, dinosaur or a magical hideaway. Its open-ended, suggestive nature lends itself to work with the children’s interests.

Two Bin Sensory Table

Two Bin Sensory Table

Description

This is a great Two Bin Sensory Table for toddlers. This is made from cedar.

Developmental Value

Sensory ProcessingSensory Processing: Auditory, Tactile, Oral, Visual, Olfactory, Proprioceptive, Vestibular
MotorMotor: Eye Hand Coordination, Core Strength, Upper Body Strength, Balance, Coordination, Crossing at the Midline, Motor Planning
CognitiveCognitive: Problem-Solving, Focus, Memory, Attention, Comprehension
Social/EmotionalSocial/Emotional: Parallel, Joint or Cooperative Play, Turn-Taking, Self-Regulation
CommunicationCommunication: Expressive and Receptive Language

Sensory tables offer children opportunities to be social, practice fine motor skills, and learn about cause and effect while enjoying the huge sensory component based on what is in the bins. Our two bin sensory table offers double the fun by providing the opportunity to add water to one bin while dry items go in the other. So many possibilities.

Our ECE & Preschool Partners

We work closely with Early Childhood Educators and Preschools to design and build natural play structures that enhance their core offering to students.

Natural Playground Benefits

Natural playgrounds cost the same or less than traditional playgrounds to purchase, install, and maintain.

Catastrophic injuries are lower on natural features compared to plastic post and platform playgrounds.

‘Time in Nature’ is now a key health indicator on the Active Healthy Kids Canada report card.

Vandalism, aggressive behaviour, and bullying rates are all reduced in direct proportion to the amount of tree canopy and contact with nature in a play space. The more contact, the greater the benefit.

Exposure to natural environments improves children’s cognitive development by improving their awareness, reasoning and observational skills.

Video Spotlights & Shared Stories

Please View our Why Story & Some of our ECE and Childcare Stories.

Our Why Story

Applejacks Preschool

St. Vincent de Paul Child Centre

Holy Name of Jesus Early Learning and Child Care Centre

Bienenstock Natural Playground Services

There are a variety of ways to work with our interdisciplinary team at Bienenstock. We thoroughly believe that no two sites are the same; therefore no two solutions will be identical. Whether you are just beginning the process or are well on your way, our team offers a range of services to meet your needs and timeline. In addition to our standard design services listed above, we have extensive experience operating in additional capacities including Prime Consultants, Sub-Consultants, and Construction Administration & Oversight.

Conceptual Design

Conceptual Design

This is the first phase of envisioning your space and the most critical in terms of generating support and building advocacy. Through a tailored series of visits and design meetings, the focus of conceptual design is to get your vision on paper.

Natural Playground Build

Natural Playground Build

The most comprehensive approach we offer is our unique “design/build” approach. This includes conceptual playground design, technical drawings, and the installation of the playground. This option is often best suited for projects that have fixed timelines and/or budgets.

Natural Playground Training

Natural Playground Training

Cities and communities need to prioritize Natural Playground Training in order to create healthier and more sustainable communities. Natural playgrounds promote the concept of play in a natural settings.