Biophilic Playgrounds as Playscapes in Child-Nature Interaction

Canan Cengiz, Aybuke Ozge Boz


Playscapes encompass various physical activity opportunities with multiple environments such as forest areas and natural areas where seasonal changes can be observed. In this context, they provide playgrounds which contribute to the development psychology of children while strengthening the interaction between children and nature. Children have an innate biological tendency known as biophilia related with connecting to the natural world. Children experience nature not as a background for natural events but as a stimulant and component of their activities. Biophilic playgrounds provide significant spatial opportunities for children to be in direct contact with nature and to experience the natural environment in rural and urban areas. Biophilic playgrounds can be designed as natural environments where children are encouraged to play or as spaces that include topography, plants, trees, sand, logs, stone, water, wind, fire and other natural elements. Natural elements and materials provide open ended play opportunities that support creative discoveries. Nature with a high level of complexity and diversity reveals the potential of children to create longer and more complex plays. In the present study, biophilic playgrounds as playscapes with significant roles in child-nature interaction have been taken into consideration and the child-education-learning-nature relationship has been emphasized within the scope of biophilia. In this scope, the Singapore Nature Playgarden at Hortpark Example was examined in the study. In conclusion, the importance of biophilic playgrounds have been put forth in the study for providing ecological functions and habitats as well as for creating consciousness in children for developing empathy, discovering nature and protecting nature.

Keywords: Playscapes, Biophilic playgrounds, Child-Nature interaction, Children’s nature experience

DOI: 10.7176/JSTR/5-12-23

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ISSN (online) 2422-8702