When was the list time you saw kids playing as if they knew the environment is important? For the innovative folks at Growing Minds Daycare, it happens every day, now that they've removed their conventional playground equipment.
"Children would mad dash to the swingset and then there would be, 'I'm saving this swing for my friend' or somebody would be crying because they wouldn't get the swingset," says Nancy Salerno, owner of Growing Minds, explaining the decision to do away with the swingset.
She decided to install an all-natural playground complete with a whimsical river, a worm farm and gardens.
"They love doing all that. The gardens we have now the children all planted. They maintain it, they water it and they take care of it," Salerno says. "The most popular toy out on the playground is not a swingset, not a teeter-totter. It's a log."
Some results from their Mother Nature experiment were unexpected.
"Our children who have a lot of energy have calmed down. They're more focused. There's not as much running around. There are things to do here, explore here -- things to find out," Salerno explains.