Go Outside and Play Naturally?
Although technology has created numerous bene?ts to society, it has also changed the way children play. The unfortunate side of this technological age can be seen in the obesity epidemic, which is clearly present today. According to National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, in 1971-74 obesity rates were 5 percent for 2- to 5-year-olds, 4 percent for 6- to 11-year-olds and 6.1 percent for 12- to 19-year-olds. Those numbers have more than doubled in the past 40 years.
We need to reverse the obesity trend for our children’s sake, and the solution is literally in our backyards. Parks and playgrounds are available for us to enjoy and benefit from.
Creating Natural Play Environments
The great outdoors is the number one spot where kids can play naturally—making up their own games while freely exploring the world around them.
Our nature-inspired playground collection is a natural fit when it comes to planning outdoor play spaces, combining the adventure and wonder of nature with the durability, safety and low maintenance of high-quality play equipment. And our team of artists will work with you to blend your new playground into its surrounding environment—making your outdoor play space a place where children and families gather.
Playground products shown in video may not be appropriate for every age group. Playsystems shown in video are for demonstration purposes only. Product configurations may vary.
Video features how Landscape Structures incorporates natural elements in conjunction with manmade play structures.
[video: fade in to a blue screen with flicker light all around. White text appears in the center of the screen reading: 1 in 5 American children. A woman’s voice narrates the video.]
Voiceover: Nearly one in five American children is overweight. Kids aged 8 to 18 spend about six and a half hours a day with electronic media.
[video: the blue screen continues to flick with light as new white text appears in the center of the screen reading: Kids aged 8 – 18. New text appears reading: 6 ½ hours per day. The scene slowly zooms out revealing the blue screen of a tv with two children sitting on the floor watching it.]
Voiceover: These factors are shaping a generation of sedentary kids.
[video: the wall behind the tv splits into a “V” revealing a sunny golden sky. The floor boards the children are sitting on turn to lush green grass and a tree sprouts replacing the TV.]
Voiceover: But research shows that children who regularly experience free unstructured and imaginative play in a natural setting are happier and healthier.
[video: The scene zooms out from the still image of two boys sitting in front of the tree to rolling grass hills where children run play and explore. Animated rocks roll onto the screen as the scene fallows them into a new image of two girls running down a grass hill. The rocks rap around a rock climber with a boy sitting at the top smiling. The rocks continue to spin around the screen and flow into the next still image of two girls sitting in the grass looking up to the sky with a large super imposed mushroom behind them. A tree sprouts from the bottom of the tree and grows to the top of the screen. Wood stepping rungs appear on the tree with a wood plank with red writing reading: Kids only. View pans up the tree to an image of a girl smiling while she climbs up the wood rungs. View continues to pan up to the top of the tree where an image of a tree fort with two children stand and sit at the top. The scene continues to pan up to the golden cloud filled sky. Green shapes swirl around the center of the screen revealing green text reading: Play Naturally.]
[video: green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of children running to a Peak AdventureScapes rock climber. They begin to climb up the rock climber. Scene switches to young boys climbing up onto a peak rock climber playground connector. Scene switches to children playing all over a playground structure. Top down view of a boy climbing up a rock climber smiling up at the camera. Scene switch to a young girl smiling at the camera as the camera circles her. Scene switch to two children playing on a rock climber. Scene switch to the camera zooming forward towards a boy as he steps on the climbing ropes of an AdventureScapes rock climber. Scene switch to a full view of a 2 to 5-year-old small play structure. Two boys slide down the structures double slide together.]
[video: green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of Steve King founder of Landscape Structures as he talks about the importance of playing naturally. Text appears at the bottom left of the screen reading: Steve King, FASLA, Landscape Architect, Chairman of Landscape Structures.]
Steve: Playing naturally is literally doing what kids do every day they play they naturally play.
[video: narrating voiceover begins as Steve and another man walk through a grassy park towards the camera.]
Voiceover: Steve King believes it’s his company’s job to attract kids outside to play naturally. So, Landscape Structures created nature inspired play systems that blend the beauty and wonder of nature with the safety, age appropriateness, and durability found in manufactured equipment.
[video: Children play all over a treehouse themed play structure with nature inspired log steppers and discovery tree climbing. A toddler climbs up a peak rock climber playground connector. Top down view of children climbing up a The Pinnacle rock climber playground connector. Scene switch to an elevated view of a freestanding Peak rock climber. A boy walks across the top while two boys climb up from the base of the climber. Scene switch to a toddler as she climbs up a small rock playground connector onto an age appropriate playground. Scene switch to an elevated view of children playing on three different AdventureScapes rock climbers with connecting climbing ropes. A young girl climbs up a rock climber towards the camera. Scene switches back to Steve King as he speaks to the camera.]
Steve: There are certain things nature just can’t provide it’s a balance.
Steve voiceover: In this case a balance of nature it’s a balance of manufactured products if we can combine those two together we’ve got the best of both worlds.
[video: two boys climb and stand at the top or a rock climbing playground connector. Scene switch as the camera zooms in on a young girl as she slides down a double slide. Two children stand and wait for her at the bottom of the slide. Scene switches back to the treehouse themed playground as children run and climb all over the structure. Top down view of a girl as she reaches the top of a rock climber. Scene switch to a side view of a young girl crawling up a rock climbing playground connector. Ground view of five boys as they climb up a large rock climber. Scene switch to two girls standing at the top of The Pinnacle rock climbing playground connector.]
[video: green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of the golden sky with clouds. Green swirl shapes reveal green text in the center of the screen that reads: Tree House. Narrating voiceover begins.]
Voiceover: The tree house was designed to feel and look as real as possible. Glass fiber reinforced concrete provides an authentic look and texture. Plus, playground friendly durability.
[video: green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of children play all over a treehouse themed play structure. Camera close-up of the Discovery Tree’s realistic painted bark and texture. Camera switch to the branch with incorporated talk tube of the Discovery Tree where it connects to a playground post. View switch to a tree stump transfer stepper at the base of the playground stairs. Scene switch to a side view of different height log steppers. Scene switch to a close-up of the side of the Discovery Tree as children climb up its wood plank climbing rungs.]
Steve voiceover: They are very realistic looking because they’ve literally come right off a mold off of a tree and we can duplicate that in concrete and suddenly you have a tree stump that exactly duplicates the bark on the tree.
[video: close-up of the log steppers as children run past and step up onto the tops of the logs. Scene switch as the camera views up and pans down the Discovery Tree. Scene switch to two girls running up onto the tree stump transfer step and up the playground steps. Close-up of the Discovery Tree as a boy’s feet climbs up the wood plank rungs and up onto the playground.
Voiceover: Kids explore the age ring tracing panel.
[video: scene fades into a close-up of the Discovery Tree Age Ring Tracing Panel. Camera pulls back as a boy traces his finger on the maze of the tracing panel. Camera zooms in for a close-up of the boy’s finger as he continues to trace on the panel.]
Voiceover: Talk through the treehouse talk tubes and discover hidden forest friends.
[video: scene fades into a side view of boy as he speaks into a tree branch talk tube. Scene switch to a view of a boys back as he talks into the Discovery Tree branch talk tube. Top down view of a boy sitting at the base of the Discovery Tree underneath the play structure where a hollowed hole has a realistic carved grey squirrel. Scene fades in to a close-up view of the carved grey squirrel holding onto an acorn in the hole of the Discovery Tree climber. Scene fades into the camera panning up towards a raccoon head peeking out from a hole in the Discovery Tree climber.]
Voiceover: The tree house even looks kid engineered with one hundred percent post-consumer recycled planks featuring wood grain texture.
[video: scene fades into a top down view as two boys climb up the Wood Plank wiggle ladder onto the playground. Scene switch to a close up of the recycled wood plank made playground roof with cross a cross plank made to look like it was painted with red paint that reads: Kids Only. Scene switches to a close-up of the bottom of the playground recycled wood railing as a girl runs up the playground steps. Close-up of the Wood Plank Wiggle ladder from underneath the play structure as children’s feet climb up the ladder. Scene switch to a close-up of the wood grain texture of the recycle wood material. Camera view up towards to boys as they look out and down from the top of the treehouse themed playground. Scene switch to children waiting in line at the top of the playground decking to go down the play structure slide.]
[video: green leaves fall from the top of the screen revealing the next scene of the golden sky with clouds. Green swirling shapes dance in the middle of the screen revealing green text that reads: Rock Climber. Green leaves fall from the top of the screen revealing the next scene.]
Voiceover: These rugged climbers look and feel like natural rock and feature embedded plant and animal fossils.
[video: Ground view of five boys as they climb up a large rock climber. Elevated view as a girl climbs up The Pinnacle rock climbing playground connecter. The camera shakes slightly with a close-up of a fossil imprint in one of the rock climbers. Camera switches to a leaf fossil in one of the rock climbers. Switch to a close-up of a sea shell fossil. Switch to a close-up of a fish fossil.]
Voiceover: Well-placed hand and footholds provide kids with as much or as little climbing guidance as they need.
[video: A boy reaches his hands up onto a rock shelf of a rock climber. Camera switch to a girl lifting herself by a rock shelf on a rock climber. Top down view of a girl as she finds the right foot and hand holds to climb the rock climber. A young girl squatted at the top of the rock climber, she turns and smirks at the camera.]
Voiceover: The peak and the stepper are perfect for young adventurers.
[video: the screen is split into two viewing windows with the golden sky bannering above and below. Green leaves, grass and branches frame the two viewing windows. In the left viewing window, a boy climbs up a medium sides rock climbing playground connector with green text below reading: The Peak. In the right window two girls climb on a rock stepper onto the playground with green text below it reading: The Stepper.]
Voiceover: While the Pinnacle and the Point introduce new challenges to more experienced climbers.
[video: scene switches to two large rock climbers side by side as children climb all over them. White text below the smaller of the two rock climbers reads: The Pointe. And underneath the larger rock climber the text reads: The Pinnacle. Top down view of a girl as she finds the correct foot and hand holds to climb up to the top of the rock climber. Ground view of five boys as they climb up a large rock climber.]
[video: green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of the golden sky with clouds. Green swirl shapes reveal green text in the center of the screen that reads: AdventureScapes®.]
Voiceover: AdventureScapes components combine the ruggedness of our natural climbers with the exciting challenges of climbing cables. Now kids can build upper body and core strength as they maneuver up over and back again. AdventureScapes systems can stand alone or connect to other play structures. Choose from several Configurations or customize your own.
[video: green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of an elevated view of children climbing over three connecting AdventureScapes climbers. Camera switch to peeking over the top of an AdventureScapes as a boy climbs up the opposite side. Camera switch to a view up at a childes feet as they stand on the climbing cables of an AdventureScapes climber. A boy climbs leans down to balance himself on the climbing cables to crawl to the next AdventureScapes rock climber. Side view of a girl as she holds onto a climbing cable on the side of the AdventureScapes rock climber. Camera views up at a boy as he climbs to the top of an AdventureScapes climber. Top down view of two boys climbing on connecting climbing cables between AdventureScapes climbers. Camera pulls back for an elevated full view of three connecting AdventureScapes climbers. Camera slowly zooms out from AdventureScapes climbing cables. Scene fades to the gold sky with clouds as nine different AdventureScapes configuration images appear on the screen. Each configuration has its design number in green text below it. Green leaves fall from the top of the screen revealing the next scene of the golden sky with clouds as green shapes dance in the middle of the screen. Green text appears in the middle of the screen reading: Custom. Green leaves fall from the top of the screen revealing the next scene of Landscape Structures employees gathered in a meeting room with a table filled with playground designs.
Voiceover: Let our talented custom team create an organic structure that blends into your natural environment or showcase your area’s natural history.
Camera switches to two men as they sit and listen to the meeting. Camera switches to a close-up pan across a scale model of a hollowed down tree tunnel climber. Scene fades into Lake Rebecca Park where the finished custom hollowed down tree tunnel climber sits in the middle of the park. The camera pans across the Treehouse play structure with surrounding rock climbers and frontier cabin. Scene fades into the camera panning up realistic clay sculpture of a bald eagle. Scene fades into a finished painted bald eagle statue sitting on its nest at the top of the treehouse playground. Scene fades to a ground view of the treehouse themed playground with lookout bald eagle statue at Lake Rebecca Park.]
Voiceover: Add interpretive signage for extended learning opportunities.
[video: scene fads into a large log stump cut at an angle with a playground sign with Animal Find and Plant ID images. Scene fades into Steve King talking about natural play.]
Steve: Suddenly you’re looking at that, you’re seeing the leaf, you’re seeing the real bark and now you’re saying ah I get it.
Steve voiceover: And I think if we can start kids thinking that way and if they can touch the bark and feel the bark and then go find those trees in the woods I think we’re accomplishing something.
[video: close-up of an Owl incorporated into a concrete tree climber. Camera switch to a view of a cabin roof with a stone chimney where a concrete raccoon head peeking out from a hole. Scene switch to the back of children as they play at a Discovery Tree Age Tracing Panel. Ground view of an incorporated grey squirrel in the hallow of the discovery tree. A childes feet runs past kicking up leaves and dirt. Scene switch to a girl tracing her finger on the Tree Age Tracing Panel on the Discovery Tree climber. Green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of the golden sky with clouds. Green swirl shapes reveal green text in the center of the screen that reads: Seeing The Whole Play Environment.]
Voiceover: It’s a rare play equipment company that has a Landscape Architect for an owner that’s why we’re the perfect partner to enhance your site design with nature inspired elements.
[video: Green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of a pan across a large playground area with surrounding large trees. Scene fades to a view of a bush with a playground in the background. Scene fades to a close up of leaves of a tree as the camera comes into focus on the background where children play on a playground. Scene fades to a single wave slide incorporated into a rock landscape.]
Steve voiceover: That’s not a play structure and a sandbox but rather a whole play environment.
[video: scene fades to a playground with SkyWays shades over head with large trees in the background.
Steve voiceover: Here’s the structure itself here’s the manmade part.
[video: elevated panning view of a playground incorporated into the natural landscape of a park. Scene fades into Steve speaking to a man as they lean on a dock railing with a pond in the background.]
Steve: But here is what you should be considering the play environment and,
Steve voiceover: bring in trees, bring in gardens, bring in plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. And run that little path through there and we can create all of that but it’s wonderful when nature can do its part.
[video: camera rushes down a line of bushes in a park garden. Scene fades into a park fence with a beautiful garden planted around it. Scene fades into a close-up of a pink rose. Scene fades into a toddler as he looks back to someone off camera and back down to a garden area where there is a frog statue. Scene fades into the camera zooming out from a park map with a garden behind it. Scene fades into a view across a park garden where two children climb on a rock climbing playground wall. Camera switches back to Steve on the dock as he finishes speaking. Green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of the golden sky with clouds. Green swirl shapes reveal green text in the center of the screen that reads: Go Outside!]
Voiceover: In the end our number one priority is to get kids outside to play. So, they can play naturally the way kids are supposed to play.
[video: green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of a top down view while children step up to the playground on the log steppers. Camera switch to a side view of a boy climbing up the rock stepper to the playground. Camera switches to circling around a AdventureScapes climber as children climb on the cables and rocks. Scene fades into children playing all over a Treehouse themed playground. green leaves fly from left to right revealing the next scene of the golden sky and green grass rolling hills as a tree sprouts from the ground and grows skyward into a lush tree with wood plank climbing rungs. The camera pulls back as superimposed mushroom steppers pop out all around. The camera pans up to the golden sky as a red ribbon dances to the middle of the screen forming into the Landscape Structures logo. Fade to black.]
Improved concentration and school achievement, reduced stress levels and a foundation of environmental stewardship are just a few of the benefits children receive from playing outdoors. See the following resources to help bring a nature-inspired playground to your community:
- The Children & Nature Network is leading the movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature. Through its network of researchers, educators, urban planners and more, the Children & Nature Network provides a vast resource for the latest news and research on the importance of reconnecting children with nature.
- The US PLAY Coalition is made up of individuals and organizations that recognize play as a valuable and necessary part of a healthy and productive life. Committees on education, inclusive play, research and more share best practices in each action area to help promote the value of play in the lives of children, adolescents and adults. We’re proud to support the organization’s annual Conference on the Value of Play.
- In his bestseller, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, author and journalist Richard Louv sparked a national debate that initiated a movement to reconnect kids and nature. Last Child in the Woods explains the importance of nature for healthy childhood development, plus offers practical solutions—many of which are in our own backyard.