Children love water play. Splashing in puddles, damming streams, having water fights – these activities bring us into connection with water’s primal qualities and awaken children’s natural play instincts. At Earth Wrights we love including water play in our designs, whether opening up existing water ways for children to safely explore, or installing pumps and rocky stream beds where children can splash away to their heart’s desire. Check out these examples and share your memories of water play in our comments section. We would love to hear them!
“It’s hugely important for children to have a safe place to enjoy nature. There are so many different parts of this area for children to enjoy – they could never get bored. “
Laura Bingham, Mother and Adventurer
Sacrewell Farm is a visitor attraction run by the William Scott Abbott Trust, with the aim of providing an agricultural education for everyone, from school children to heritage enthusiasts. We were approached to help them develop an underused area, downstream from their award-winning 18th Century watermill.
The area includes a shallow valley with open grassy spaces, woodland and willow coppice, as well as a network of streams, ponds and mill leats. As soon as we arrived, we saw the great potential for natural play. The affordances were already there – they just needed improved access and, importantly, a clear invitation.
Children are the experts when it comes to play and we were fortunate to have the guidance of a group of youngsters from a local primary school to advise us on how we could improve the landscape of Sacrewell to make it more playable. The site is rich in natural features – streams, hedges, mature trees, seasonal and marsh vegetation, hills and mounds – which clearly excited the children we consulted and sparked a sense of adventure. Continue reading “Sacrewell Farm – A case study in natural play design”