Across San Francisco, outdoor opportunities for our youngest children can be limited and play areas can mirror the cold concrete and steel of the urban landscape. Connecting children to the natural world through play allows them to explore freely, nurturing curiosity and discovery. First 5 San Francisco has joined the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and WestEd over the last year to provide early educators with training, resources, and design coaching aimed at building up outdoor play space and reconnecting children to nature.
This past week, the Catholic Charities Treasure Island Child Development Center (TICDC) became the first of ten project sites to reveal the outdoor transformation taking place across San Francisco’s early education programs. “At TICDC, we witnessed firsthand the transformative effect of connecting children to the natural world,” said design consultant Eliana Elias. “The goal of the Infant Toddler Outdoor Design Project is to support early education programs in finding ways to add natural elements to enhance their outdoor spaces.”
This commentary was submitted by volunteer contributor Eliana Elias, ECE Coach & Design Consultant, First 5 San Francisco.