Learning Environments

Nooks and Hideaway Places

A girl crawls through a play tunnel in the grassYoung children need places to take a break from being with the larger group while still being visible to supervising adults.1 In an outdoor play space, places to be alone or with one or two other children may take many forms. For example, programs may include a:

  • Short tunnel
  • Tent
  • Playhouse
  • Large fabric draped over a picnic table
  • Small space bordered by bales of straw, tall grasses, or sunflowers

In home-based programs, talk with families about the purpose of hideaway places. Do families have these for their children? Where? Do they feel safe letting their children use corners, doorways, or large boxes to hide in?

1Keeler, Natural Playscapes, 87; Thigpen, "Outdoor Play: Combating Sedentary Lifestyles," 21.