This study is an exploration of the therapeutic experiences and feelings associated with place and space for very young children as they engaged in child-led play in the natural environment. Using an empirical phenomenological approach, I aimed to explore the meanings, structure and essential elements of the children’s lived experiences within the context of a natural play model that placed children at the core of the play process. The research was conducted in an outdoor nature-based early years setting with a group of six children aged between three and five years old. A multi-method methodology was employed to gather the children’s perspectives. Observation of emergent, child-led play was combined with the use of participatory verbal and non-verbal tools as the primary sources of data. Observations suggest that direct contact with the enriched natural environment supported by empathic, non-judgemental adults may enhance the therapeutic qualities of play and provide young children with profound opportunities for growth and development.