The Nature Explore Classroom at

SmartKids Child Care & Learning Center-Meadowlands

“I like the idea of continuing physical play with nature and providing children with opportunities to “think outside of the box.” I feel the natural playscape helps support creativity and imaginative play as well as incorporates science and construction/engineering.”


“In addition, I feel that our natural playground is safer than if we used “traditional” playground equipment. For example, I have noticed a decrease in accident reports. Using the Bamboo Blocks, children can re-create visual images and develop a sense of construction. We also love the tree cookies! The children stack them, walk across them and observe their color change and how each one breaks apart over time.”

“Our outdoor space has stopped being just a playground but rather a place of infinite creative possibilities!” Renee Heckler-Director


“Our preschool class has really enjoyed the playground re-model. Even though the size is the same, the children utilize more space on the playground. The different areas welcome the children to play all over. We love all of the choices available, such as bike riding, building, art, jumping or just sitting and relaxing. The mulch and turf make it safer for the children to play on and allows for more playtime.” Miss Darla-Preschool Teacher

“My son loves the new outside play area! He really enjoys the sensory center and the new wooden toy trucks. With the turf as the main surface, I find that his clothes stay much cleaner and it seems as though the children are able to experience more outside playtime.” Ashlee C. – Parent



We would like to thank the Team from Nature Explore who came to share their passion for enriching children’s lives by creating fun natural outdoor classrooms. We very much appreciate the training, support, and cheers that we received as we progressed throughout this adventure!

We would also like to give thanks to the Washington County Penn State Cooperative for their participation and continued support.

The Team at SmartKids would like to acknowledge our owner, Donna Shriver, for sharing her vision for our Natural Outdoor Classroom and for supporting and joining us on this journey.



340 Meadowlands Boulevard
Washington, PA  15301

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