BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — A Vermont school is building its new playground from materials like logs and boulders in hopes of inspiring more imaginative outdoor play for its students.

The Academy School in Brattleboro says the “natural playground” is part of an ongoing effort to get students into nature more often.

Principal Andy Paciulli tells the Brattleboro Reformer that he thinks children spend too much time indoors and that even their outdoor play is too structured. He says traditional playgrounds, with swings, slides and monkey bars, tend to encourage children to play a particular way.

He says the only real criticism of the idea he had heard was that children would get too dirty in the planned “mud kitchen,” but he says kids and dirt go together.

Information from: Brattleboro Reformer,

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