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Community Impact

Jul 22, 2016

Nature in the City

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Image courtesy of BSA Staff.

Children today spend less than 30 minutes per week playing outdoors

Children today spend less than 30 minutes per week playing outdoors, yet research has shown that playing in nature contributes to every aspect of a child's development—physical, social, emotional, and academic.

Last weekend, artist and designer Mitch Ryerson led children through a building activity on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway using simple, natural materials to create structures and playscapes. Young designers crafted branches and twine into shelters and lean-tos--even a swing that could hold several young people at once.

The nature-inspired structures made for a striking contrast to the buildings surrounding the park, and the workshop showed children that the simplest materials, found even in the city, can be used to create beautiful designs. Children left the workshop anxious to “try this at home” and continue nature play in their own neighborhoods.

Nature play is part of a series of family and children's workshops created by the BSA Foundation and Design Museum Boston focusing on design and play in conjunction with the exhibition Extraordinary Playscapes, on view at BSA Space through September 5, 2016. This event was put on in partnership with the Rose Kennedy Greenway.