In a mere five hours, the Child's Play Design Charrette laid the groundwork to help family child care providers tap into grants from A Running Start Philadelphia: Facility Fund and Rain Check to bring nature-based play to their side and back yards.
Nature-based play offers children rich, open-ended, multisensory experiences playing with nature. One of its hallmarks is "loose parts" like tree stumps, sticks, nuts, and pine cones that let kids build and improvise.
Family child care providers in Philadelphia typically have limited outdoor spaces to offer their children. Charrette participants—designers, early child care educators, family child care providers, environmentalists, and others—collaborated on designs for eight prototypical Philly yards.
Together, they learned how simple, small-scale natural elements like grasses, shrubs, birdhouses, a sand pit, or a ring of tree stumps can bring nature-based play to Philly's back and side yards. These elements will benefit both the kids they care for and their own families.
SALT Design Studio will turn the ideas and sketches from the design charrette into a toolkit for use by family child providers and the funders.