The free-range playground that makes your child smarter, healthier, and more confident


You might not see it, but trust us, your kids do.

That hill, it’s not just a hill. It’s a playground.

At Charter, we’re big champions of natural playgrounds, with green spaces and slides, amphitheaters, and secret nooks. Kids love them – and unlike modular playgrounds, they don’t get bored of them. Ours are called TerraPark®, and we build them into our neighborhoods to help foster a love of nature and imaginative play.

What’s that, you ask? Kids get bored in regular playgrounds?

It’s true. You see, a slide is just a slide, and monkey bars may never rise to anything more.

In fact, a growing body of child development experts have noted that natural spaces unlock children’s imaginations, leading to less boredom. TerraPark® uses the natural contours of the land to hide little amphitheaters that kids can transform into their own castles, forts, and play houses. Slides are built into hills, and there might also be a fire pit to roast marshmallows with parents in autumn. There’s even a small canyon that kids can run through – or jump over. And of course, there’s level ground for a good game of ball.

We were inspired to build TerraPark® by the book “The Last Child in the Woods,” by Richard Louv, in which he coined the term nature deficit disorder. Louv connects the rise of hyperactivity, attention problems, and depression with the rise of today’s wired culture among kids. And he says that time spent in nature and exercise are the antidote for these conditions.

As any parent who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s knows, children today spend far less time outdoors than they used to, and their “roaming” area is much smaller than in years past.

Child development experts note that kids who enjoy access to nature tend to become more confident – in part because they can take more risks and their coordination increases through exercise. 

The idea behind TerraPark® has a lot in common with our overall design philosophy. We make spaces for people to enjoy with their neighbors, and ways to connect with nature through miles of walking trails and green spaces.

Want to see what we’re talking about? Bring the kids and check out TerraPark® at Florin Hill, Walden, or Arcona and discover which neighborhood is perfect for you and your family. Call 800-325-3030 or email for more information and to schedule an appointment.