We are working with Littleton partners, organizations, and community members to envision a community-wide strategy to enhance outdoor, nature-based play opportunities for kids and families of all ages.
In 2020, the ECHO team received a planning grant to convene partners and organizations throughout the Littleton community to identify opportunities to improve access to natural outdoor play spaces for children and families.
Over the past two years, we engaged with these partners to learn more about current and past nature play efforts, and facilitate discussions around what nature play looks like in Littleton. We also engaged with community members about what they would like to see in their outdoor spaces in the city.
We are currently working with two demonstration sites in Littleton- The Littleton Museum, and The Village for Early Childhood Education in Littleton Public Schools. We are in the process of co-creating nature play spaces at both demonstration sites alongside staff, families, and community members. We are also continuing to collaborate with additional Littleton partners to support nature play access for all children and families.
Evidence shows that young children with access to high quality nature play are more physically active, spend more time outside, and engage each other and adults more positively and more frequently. Benefits can also include improvements in social-emotional health like better self- regulation, self-confidence, concentration, creativity, and reduced stress, along with improved academic performance, nutrition, and eyesight. Time in nature helps children begin to understand ecosystems and where food comes from. The earlier in life that children experience these benefits, the better their developmental trajectory. Teachers and caregivers also benefit from healthy, dynamic, and comfortable outdoor spaces.
We continue to listen to and learn from the Littleton community as we support the planning and implementation of nature play projects in the city’s outdoor spaces. Let us know if you would like to be involved, and learn ways to connect with this work! Be a thought partner, participate in a workshop, or volunteer! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to stay up to date with our work in Littleton.
We also continue to welcome your input on how to make nature more accessible to kids, families, and educators. Please consider taking our surveys below!
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