Children's Play in Natural Environments and Their Development of Microcultures

"We Were Born in the Wilderness"


  • Michelle E.E. Bauer
  • Mariana Brussoni
  • Christina Han


natural play, outdoor play, play spaces, microcultures


Amid a dearth of research exploring children’s storiesof their play in natural environments, we conducted go-along interviews with 105 children aged 10-13 years in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Weused narrative inquiry to explore how natural environments shaped theirexperiences and influenced their development of microcultures.Our thematic narrative analysis resulted in twothemes: (1) children played in natural environments to which they had sentimental attachments; and (2) children developed microcultures away fromadults.We explored the sentimental and purposeful elements of natural environments that children actively use to develop their microcultures.