Owner and Executive Director
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 have 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.
“Parents are told to turn off the TV and restrict video game time, but we hear little about what the kids should do physically during their non-electronic time. The usual suggestion is organized sports. But consider this: The obesity epidemic coincides with the greatest increase in organized children's sports in history…The physical exercise and emotional stretching that children enjoy in unorganized play is 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.
While working in the local schools as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Terra Haisley had no intention of adding more to her already full schedule. Preparing for an empty nest and anticipating the birth of her first grandchild, Haisley was ready for things to slow down in the next season of life.
However, Terra started noticing an increase in children with anxiety, depression, emotional outbursts, developmentally delayed motor skills, inappropriate social skills, and struggling to pay attention in class. And these were the children who were receiving no special services or additional support.
When looking for resources to help parents and educators address the rising need, Haisley realized the recurring “prescription” was getting children outdoors, moving and playing.
“Children aren’t spending enough time playing outdoors and it is starting to affect their sensory systems and quality of life.”
~Angela Hanscom, Balanced and Barefoot
The research was convincing, but difficult to implement with time constraints in the school setting, safety concerns of unsupervised play, and families’ busy schedules. In addition, there were no programs in the community that focused on child-directed play in nature.
Using her occupational therapy training and ability to analyze activities for their therapeutic value, Terra set out to create a program that addressed the increasing needs of the children in her community. Collaborating with child development professionals, community members, and of course, children, TerraTime was created in 2018.
To put it simply, TerraTime provides opportunities for children to experience the therapeutic benefits of extended time in nature, while fostering child-directed play and learning.
Our team of professionals bring a variety of skills, experiences, education, and backgrounds with a desire for children to experience the wonder of outdoor play.