What is TerraTime?
It's no secret children today just don't play like previous generations. Increased screen time, busy schedules, fear of unsupervised play, and risk-taking have all contributed to the loss of the childhood play that we grew up with.
Our mission at TerraTime is to get children outside in nature. Moving. Exploring. Discovering. Playing. Growing. Learning. Experiencing the joys of childhood.
“The physical exercise and emotional stretching that children enjoy in unorganized play are more varied and less time-bound than is found in organized sports. Playtime—especially unstructured, imaginative, exploratory play—is increasingly recognized as an essential component of wholesome child development.”
~Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods
It all started in a small community with a big need.
TerraTime offers high-quality outdoor programs where children learn through play. We're a small but growing team on a mission to get children in nature and experiencing the joys of child-directed play.
Most programs designed for children are adult-driven and highly structured, leaving children with little time to think or make decisions for themselves.
TerraTime is different.
Our programming provides time for children to explore, create, build, design, take risks, and use their imagination – all while experiencing the wonder of outdoor play.
What the Experts are Saying
Recent studies have exposed the benefit—even necessity—of spending time outdoors, both for children and adults.
The studies agree that children who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less anxious than children who spend more time indoors.
While it’s unclear how exactly the cognitive functioning and mood improvements occur, there are a few things we do know about why extended time in nature is good for kids’ minds.
“The opportunity you provide is unique - I haven't come across anything else like it, even being from the land of camps in and around DC.
Growing up I was always fascinated by nature and always took opportunities to be outside when I could. A love of nature is what got me where I am today, and I know you are making a difference in kids' lives through this exposure to the outdoors, as well as giving them agency and less structure.
You've created a wonderful environment for them to learn and grow. Thanks again for another great year!”
~ Melissa | Conservation Biologist at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Conservation Ecology Center | Washington, D.C.
At TerraTime, we are a bit old-school when it comes to learning and we don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Backed by research from child development experts, we provide an opportunity for children to experience childhood learning the way it was intended to be, play-based and child-directed.
We offer outdoor enrichment opportunities, designed with the TIME & SPACE required for children to explore, create, build, design, problem-solve, take risks, and use their imagination – all while experiencing the WONDER OF OUTDOOR PLAY.