Bozeman Montessori School Unveils Natural Playground
Montana's News Station.com
Not too many children spend recess pumping water next to the sandbox or playing in the
cave. But that's exactly how some Bozeman elementary students will spend play time at the
Learning Circle Montessori Elementary School's newly opened Natural Playground.
The Natural Playground became a reality recently after a two-year planning process that
began by contacting the Natural Playgrounds Company, the nationís leading natural
playground design and construction firm located in Concord, NH.
"In my experience, when I take my kids to the playground they'll play on the regular
equipment for a few minutes then they're off in the bushes and the forest playing there,"
Montessori playground committee chairperson Karyn Spear said.
A parent and Montessori Trustee Board member, Spear said the unique features of this play
space are modeled after idea-engaging imaginations in the natural world.
The schoolyard playground is typically made up of monkey bars, slides and swing sets, and
it's a large part of a child's day. But this playground is very different from the status quo.
On Wednesday, some of the students weighed in on the new playground.
"I like a lot of it. I like the sandbox, the toys, the waterfall, and the cave," seven-year-old Cad
One student said she felt like she was in nature.
"Yeah because there's more water," six-year-old Abby Kreutz said.
Spear said today's tech-savvy society is keeping kids inside too much, and they're not
learning proper earthly stewardship.
"So by reintroducing nature into their play environment, I think they become better stewards
for the future," Spear said.