Summer Play at Natural Playgrounds

We have a love of natural playgrounds. By "natural" we mean creative play spaces, thoughtfully designed with materials from nature: sand, water, wood, plants.

The Alexander Kemp Playground is a local play space that uses elements from nature to inspire play.  It is located just outside of Harvard Square and it is worth the drive or Red Line T ride to get there.  Our children can and do spend hours wrapped in make-believe each time we visit.  From the small opening to enter the playground that sized just for them to the boat to gazebo they use to play "house," this playground truly promotes creativity.  

We have found two natural play spaces that are worth the day trip from Boston. Our children tend to be inspired and engaged at these playgrounds, and it's a delight to watch them play. Roger Williams Zoo in Providence has an amazing space, with a water feature that's perfect for hot days. There are climbers, a huge tree fort, tents to build, instruments to play... it's quite impressive. 

But our favorite natural playground is in Sandwich, MA at Heritage Museum and Gardens. It's called "Hidden Hollow" and it's hard to leave, even after several hours of play. 

I'd be hard-pressed to think of an activity my four-year-old son enjoyed more: matching insect x-rays to models of the real thing. 

I'd be hard-pressed to think of an activity my four-year-old son enjoyed more: matching insect x-rays to models of the real thing. 

Looking into "Hidden Hollow" 

Looking into "Hidden Hollow" 

A view of the tree fort

A view of the tree fort

Building sculptures with driftwood and shells

Building sculptures with driftwood and shells

A beautiful dramatic play area

A beautiful dramatic play area

Inspired to add more natural elements to your backyard? Check out this blog post from Let the Children Play. Do you know of other natural playgrounds in the area? If so, please share so we can follow your lead!