Thursday, December 30, 2010

what rusty keeler said: it starts with you

This is the second post in the series "What Rusty Said: Creating Natural Playscapes".  You can read the first post here, or just jump right in as we look at Rusty's tips for kickstarting your natural playscape project:

Turning Playscape Dreams into Reality

Are you bursting with ideas to create the magical natural playscape of your dreams, but are not quite sure how or where to start ?

Whether its a major project or just a few additions here are some tips from Rusty Keeler to get you on your way:
  1. It starts with you
  2. Gather together a team
  3. Brainstorm:  Who are the people in your neighbourhood?
  4. Dream your Playscape
  5. Draw your playscape
  6. Make a wish list
  7. A work in progress
  8. Build your playscape
Let's look at each of these more closely. 

1.  It starts with you

Your vision and enthusiasm for the world of natural playscapes can kick start your project by inspiring the people around you.   

Share your knowledge of the children and nature movement; the benefits of outdoor play; what is a natural playscape and ways to add natural elements to your outdoor environment. 

Here is a list of resources you could use as the starting point for introducing those around you to the idea of creating a natural playscape:  

Earthplay ::: Great for images; articles and links.
Natural Playscapes ::: Rusty Keeler's book on creating natural playscapes for the soul.

Or from previous posts: 

Outdoor and Nature Play Links
Why Natural Outdoor Playspaces?
25 Ways to Improve your Outdoor Playspace
10 Articles on Children's Play in Nature

And for those Australians amongst us:

Early Years Learning Framework Forum ::: Forum buzz about connecting with nature
Kidsafe NSW Natural Playspaces Fact Sheet

Now off you go and inspire those you work with to dream of a natural playscape for the children in your lives.

Next in the Series:
Gather together your team


  1. When we built our new outdoor classroom last year, Jenny, it started with YOU! Your posts inspired me, which I in turn shared with the parents in our school. Once they were inspired I had my team!

  2. What's really important to remember is to include and consult children here - and the trick is to ask them about what they like to do outside and use this as a starting point rather than what do you want to have outside.

    There's lots of cool ways of involving children in the processes of developing outdoor playspaces. Learning Through Landscapes is THE organisation in the UK

    Evergreen is the Canadian equivalent.

    Also buy the book "Asphalt to Ecosystems" by Sharon Danks. I've this and Rusty Keeler's book. Sharon's is super and well worth buying as the examples are international and with an eco focus.

    For consulting children on outdoor playspaces (0-5yr olds) the best book is "Creating a Space to Grow" by Gail Ryder Richardson. Yes I'm biased - she trained me several years ago!!!

  3. oh i'm so excited to see what you have in store for us jenny! thanks for all the inspiration over the past year. blessings to you in 2011!! xxx

    that first photo is mesmerizing...
    i'm sure if i show that to my parents i too will have an instant team (thanks teacher tom!)

  4. I am in love with the picture at the top of this page. I feel so inspired by your blog!