The Charlotte Nature Museum debuts its new, natural outdoor play area on Saturday, June 16. The natural setting, located outside the museum, was funded by the National Wildlife Federation and is the first of the its kind in the area. The goal of the exhibit is to encourage imaginative outdoor play outdoors and encourage creativity, autonomy , collaboration and role-playing.
Fort Wild' natural play area was designed with all age children in mind and has areas for all development levels including: See, Touch, Smell—an infant sensory garden that incorporates a variety of textures, smells and colors to facilitate rapidly developing senses.
Hop, Jump, Dig—a toddler-targeted setting that offers growth and development structures such as logs for balancing, boulders for climbing and sand for digging.
Dream, Wiggle, Run—designed with active preschoolers in mind, this area includes a Fairy Stump Village and teepee for constructing, building, and creating from gathered natural objects.
Bird Blind—a special wooden bird blind offers young ornithologists the chance to learn the basic skills of bird-watching.
Share, Act, Do—an open lawn for running, deconstructed wind chimes for musical instruments, a small stage for dramatic play and planting beds create endless play opportunities.
The Spot—tweens and teens love private spaces. A simple arrangement of logs or boulders provides a place to meet with friends while still being visible to caregivers.
Tend to Grow—a vegetable garden nurtured and cared for by children encourages healthy eating while teaching about plant lifecycles, pollination, beneficial insects and more.
Fort Wild officially opens to the public on June 16 during June Creature Feature, Farm Day. For more information visit the Charlotte Nature Museum.