- Development of nature playgrounds from the 1970s onwards
- Book title
- Play and Recreation, Health and Wellbeing
- Number of pages
- Singapore: Springer
- ISBN (electronic)
- Geographies of Children and Young People
- Volume (Serie)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In this paper we will analyze the sudden growth of nature playgrounds at the beginning of the twenty-first century within both big cities and smaller towns in the Netherlands. We try to understand this new interest in nature-like play in the context of three developments. First are the stricter regulations on play equipment. The implementation of the new European safety demands in 1997 evoked a lot of extra costs for municipalities and NGOs who tried to find ways to avoid the regulations. Nature playgrounds were defined as nature in the first place, and as such they didn’t have to apply to the strict safety rules. Thus, nature playgrounds became relative cheap solutions for children’s play. Second is the increase of the self-organizing middle-class professionals. In many neighborhoods, young parents weren’t satisfied with the play possibilities for their children, and in their position of both professional and parent, they started to build green playgrounds as an alternative. Third, the choice for greener ways of playing is related to "new" notions of bringing children closer to nature and teaching them how to take risks. Play in a regulated natural environment would facilitate children best. Empirical examples are drawn from interviews with volunteers, nature playground protagonists, and NGOs. In addition, a wide variety of documents have been analyzed from websites to policy documents and newspaper articles.
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- Living Reference Work Entry
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