This Montessori natural playspace opened in September 2011. The 1/3 acre lush landscape offers children a wide range of opportunities to move, explore, play and learn in a setting that is whimsical and beautiful and quite different from a traditional playground.  One of the first of its type in the DC area, the space  features slides built into fragrant herb-planted hills

Hillside slide with fragrant herbs

In the shady woods children can build with planks and stumps, climb fallen trees and follow meandering woodland paths.

Tree cookie path through the woods

There is a sparkling 50’ mosaic stream with a kid powered pump.

A 50′ mosaic stream with a hand pump for kid powered water play

There are over 300 mostly native plants to touch, taste, smell and pick along with raised beds outside the classroom windows for children’s gardening, open lawns for running and cloud watching and benches and swings for resting and observing.

Raingardens soak up the rain as well as excess from the play stream.

Natural sand play area surrounded by logs, boulders and a deck.

Does it look like something is missing on those sweet playhouses?  We thought so, so in December we did this:

My crew and I planted living roofs!

More photos soon.  And for details on the technique, check out my friends at Taproot Farm, who taught me their simple, low cost method.

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