Our Research

A Deeper Look

We have observed significant improvements in children’s balance, emotional regulation, strength, social skills, play schemes, and creativity—even over the course of just one week. We strive to provide evidence-based research to reinforce our TimberNook philosophies and the benefits of outdoor play.

What We Believe

Our core beliefs drive the experiences we provide for children through TimberNook programming, and research supports many of our beliefs about the positive effects of authentic outdoor play on children.

Our Beliefs:

  • Outdoor play is inherently therapeutic
  • Children require time and space to move their bodies
  • Nature provides the ultimate sensory experience
  • Children deserve distance from the adult world regularly
  • Ample outdoor play benefits children physically, mentally and emotionally

What We Look For

Our research seeks to look more closely at the influence of the play environment in children’s overall development. Analyses of social interactions, cognitive and behavioral patterns, and physical and mental skill development help us better understand the benefits of TimberNook’s sensory immersion and outdoor play approach versus traditional play environments.

What We’ve Found

Our research indicates that the nature-based setting of TimberNook holds valuable benefits for children above and beyond traditional play environments like a backyard or a playground. These movement-based programs provide an opportunity for social engagement and child-directed play in a natural environment. When children are afforded ample time and space, the quality of play and overall benefit greatly increases.

UNH Research Collaboration

Child Study & Development Center

TimberNook and the UNH CSDC launched a collaboration in late 2023.   The UNH Child Study & Development Center offers TimberNook programs to their students while supporting numerous research opportunities.   Our first research collaboration explores how TimberNook influences school culture.  We hope to have results to share in the fall of 2024.    Future research topics include how TimberNook supports healthy physical, emotional, and social development in school age children.

Summer 2016 Research Study

“The results suggest that the quality of social interaction among the children did collectively differ between TimberNook and the children’s typical play environment. The environments were specifically different in their supportiveness regarding the objects available, the amount of space and configuration of that space, and sensory opportunities. We concluded that environments offering greater opportunities for object, space, and sensory exploration, such as TimberNook, appear to support better quality of social interaction. “

Our Programs

Our programs allow children to explore, create, take risks, and dive into their imagination.

Our Locations

TimberNook has locations across the U.S., as well as abroad.