Natural play for children offers so many benefits to their development. Researchers have found that natural playgrounds give children more opportunities to develop their gross motor skills as well as promoting their creativity and imagination.
London may be one of the worlds busiest cities, but these amazing natural playgrounds will make you feel far away from the city's hustle and bustle and allow kids to reconnect with the outdoors whilst enjoying some natural play.
Strawberry Woods Location: 187 Stanley Road, Teddington
This recently built woodland playground is a natural wonderland for children. It features play structures and areas made from natural materials such as tree stumps, logs, bark and sand. Younger children will love the wooden train to play on and older kids can see how far up the tree climbing structures they can get. Let the kids enjoy following the little trail or having a splash in the small stream that runs through the park- remember to bring appropriate footwear and a spare change of clothes.
Tumbling Bay Playground Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford
Children will love playing in the natural elements in this playground such as rock pools, sand pits, tree houses and wobbly bridges, as well as swings and slides. Built on a natural landscape, this playground encourages kids to experiment within a natural environment. Right next door is the Timber Lodge which hosts a cafe, where you can fill up on tasty home-cooked food and refreshing drinks.
Toffee Park is an exciting playground that allows children to play freely amongst natural elements. There are plenty of resources and materials for children to choose from, as well the choice of playing indoors or out. Toffee Park offers a natural space for kids to play creatively and physically, whilst having fun in a supervised environment.
The possibilities for natural play are endless at the Nature Garden at Oasis. Children will love to build dens, dig in the mud, go pond dipping or search for frogs. It is one of the only wildlife gardens just for kids and certainly gives them fantastic opportunities to explore and play in a natural environment. Oasis is also home to a fantastic adventure playground, where children can climb, swing and cycle to name a few, as well as a Karting Track for motorised and pedal sessions.
Diana Memorial Playground Location: Kensington Gardens
This incredible playground and wonderland for children was opened in memory of the late and much loved Princess Diana. It features a huge wooden pirate ship, a sensory trail, a sandy beach, teepees and many play structures to climb on. Inspired by the story of Peter Pan, watch your children's imagination and creativity come to life at this stunning playground.
The playground does get busy during school holidays and summer months so be sure to head there early. See here for more information.
The Wild Kingdom Location: Three Mills Green, Newham
Check out this natural play space for a unique and creative place to play. There are many play structures and spaces to explore, such as wooden balance beams, maypole swings, tree stump stepping stones, in ground trampolines and climbing nets; children will love this playground!