This episode of the Sage Family Podcast is an engaging  interview with Peter Gray, Evolutionary Psychologist, blogger and author of the inspiring book Free to Learn. Peter explains why the adult way of looking at childhood can have a negative impact on childhood learning and the consequences of disallowing inoculations of risk. Peter is a research professor of psychology at Boston College and founding board member and president of the alliance for self-directed education.

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Subject Area: Risky Play

Why does the phrase “Drive fast, take chances” elicit both laughter and fear? Researchers have identified a kind of developmentally important play called “Scary Funny.” Listen to this engaging conversation between Occupational Therapist Kathleen Lockyer and Dr Mariana Brussoni, risk researcher from the University of British Columbia to learn more about how a little bit of risk can go a long way towards a child reaching their true potential.

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Length: 1h : 33m : 00s

Subject Area: Risky Play

Each online magazine edition will have script to inspire educators. Print them out and place them somewhere that you can get daily inspiration.

If we allow children

to explore risky play

like jumping across logs

and climbing trees

they will show us just how

capable and competent

they can truly be

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Dr Carla Gull of Loose Parts Nature Play, educator and mother to four energetic boys, begins her podcast series with exploration of the Theory of Loose Parts paper by Simon Nicholson, who argued that everyone should have the right to realise their creative potential and inventiveness, not just scientists and artists.  This paper is a foundation piece in the study of loose parts play and nature exploration. With loose parts, there are so may variables in action within an environment that is always changing.

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Length: 31m : 00s

Subject Area: Loose Parts

If you’re a parent, ask yourself – when was the last time your child climbed a tree? With increasing reliance on technology and parental safety concerns, children have never been so separated from the natural world. Catalyst investigates the science of outdoor play and shows how it can improve children’s health, academic performance, mental well-being, personal and social development, concentration levels and symptoms of ADHD.

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Length: 6m : 19s

Excellent resource full of great ideas and imagery to help families and care providers restore nature to children’s everyday outdoor play and learning environments. Includes information on the developmental benefits of nature play,the importance of risk taking, where to start and how to implement change in your play space. Includes a list of suggested materials to introduce, different types of settings, how to manage a nature play space and the importance of getting children’s input right from the beginning.

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This document from Western Australia is a powerful resource for recognising and linking curriculum, outcomes and capabilities to Nature Play/Pedagogy from Early Years up to and including Year 6.

Outdoor learning spaces are a feature of Australian learning environments. They offer a vast array of possibilities not available indoors. Play spaces in natural environments include plants, trees, edible gardens, sand, rocks, mud, water and other elements in nature. These spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk-taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature. They foster an appreciation of the natural environment, develop environmental awareness and provide a platform for ongoing environmental education (DEEWR, 2009, P. 16).

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Year Level: Early Years, Primary

Subject Area: Curriculum