Natural Playground

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Natural Playground


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View the WXOW report on the Nature Playground. http://www.wxow.com/story/23331272/2013/09/03/unique-natural-playground-nears-completion-in-houstonhttp://www.wxow.com/story/23331272/2013/09/03/unique-natural-playground-nears-completion-in-houstonshapeimage_3_link_0

You are invited to come play in our unique one-acre Natural Playground built of soil, sand, rocks, and trees!

The playground was designed by the Natural Playgrounds Company, specifically for our site.  It is designed to get kids in touch with nature and stimulate creative play.  Research has shown that children who play regularly in nature are mentally and physically healthier than those who don’t.  But who cares about the research…it’s just more fun!

You’ll find:


  1. Enormous sand play area with buried fossils for kids to find and take home (one per child, please.)

  2. Hand water pump and moveable log sluice

  3. Several four foot boulders to climb on

  4. 10 foot tall hill for rolling and running in the summer and sliding in the winter

  5. Stone tunnel with large, hidden fossils inside

  6. Two small stone caves with large fossils inside

  7. Embankment slide (it’s fast!)

  8. Boulder climbing wall

  9. Wooden climbing wall (handholds to be installed when the grass on the hill is established)

  10. Straw bales for building forts

  11. Three sets of pedestal pipes for making sound

  12. Two sets of listening tubes for listening to sounds

  13. Two wrap around tree benches for adults to sit in the shade

  14. Two stump circles for hopping from stump to stump or for sitting, one with a fire ring in the middle

  15. Labyrinth with circuits wide enough to accommodate a standard wheelchair

  16. Four foot tall concrete mosaic owl and three giant eggs in a nest with three eggs for kids to climb into

  17. LOTS of native trees for shade

  18. Flying owl entrance sign surrounded by stones engraved with the names of all the donors who made the playground possible.  You’ll find three more donor inscriptions on the four foot boulders in the playground.

Coming soon:


  1. Interpretive signs for the trees, rocks, lumber, fossils, and play elements (fall 2013)

  2. Living willow tunnel (spring 2014)

  3. Interactive sundial where YOUR shadow tells the time of day (2014)


Check out our Facebook page photo albums for dozens of photos (no Facebook account needed): www.Facebook.com/HoustonNatureCenter

© Susan Oddsen

© Audrey Alfson

© Audrey Alfson

© Patty Shove