Greening of Daycare Yards with Biodiverse Materials Affords Well-Being, Play and Environmental Relationships

Tutkimustuotos: Kirjoitus lehdessä tai erikoisnumeron toimittaminenArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

  • Riikka Puhakka
  • Outi Rantala
  • Marja I. Roslund
  • Juho Rajaniemi
  • Olli H. Laitinen
  • Aki Sinkkonen
  • ADELE Research Group

Tiivistelmä

Nature contacts are recognized as positively contributing to humans’ health and well-being.
Although there have been projects to green daycare or schoolyards, yard greening and microbial
biodiversity have never been studied simultaneously. We asked whether simultaneously increasing
biodiversity exposure and greening urban daycare yards affects 3–5 years-old children’s physical
activity and play, their environmental relationships, and their perceived well-being. For transforming
six daycare yards in Finland, we used a forest floor with high biodiversity, sod, peat blocks, and planters
for vegetable and flower growing. We used qualitative interview and survey-based data collected
from the daycare personnel and parents to analyze how green yards encourage children’s engagement
with their everyday life-worlds. We identified the functional possibilities provided by the yards
and the dynamic aspects related to the greening. Green, biodiverse yards were considered safe,
and inspired children’s play, diversified their activities, and increased physical activity. The greenery
offered embodied experiences of nature and provided the children with multi-sensory exploration
and diverse learning situations. The dynamic and emotional ways of engaging with the natural
environment increased their well-being. The activities related to caring for the yards and exploring
them promoted the development of environmental relationships. The results can be used for designing
health-enhancing yardsNature contacts are recognized as positively contributing to humans’ health and well-being.
Although there have been projects to green daycare or schoolyards, yard greening and microbial
biodiversity have never been studied simultaneously. We asked whether simultaneously increasing
biodiversity exposure and greening urban daycare yards affects 3–5 years-old children’s physical
activity and play, their environmental relationships, and their perceived well-being. For transforming
six daycare yards in Finland, we used a forest floor with high biodiversity, sod, peat blocks, and planters
for vegetable and flower growing. We used qualitative interview and survey-based data collected
from the daycare personnel and parents to analyze how green yards encourage children’s engagement
with their everyday life-worlds. We identified the functional possibilities provided by the yards
and the dynamic aspects related to the greening. Green, biodiverse yards were considered safe,
and inspired children’s play, diversified their activities, and increased physical activity. The greenery
offered embodied experiences of nature and provided the children with multi-sensory exploration
and diverse learning situations. The dynamic and emotional ways of engaging with the natural
environment increased their well-being. The activities related to caring for the yards and exploring
them promoted the development of environmental relationships. The results can be used for designing
health-enhancing yards
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
Artikkelin numero2948
JulkaisuINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Volyymi16
Numero16
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 16 elokuuta 2019
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Vertaisarvioitu alkuperäisartikkeli