On today’s show you’ll meet the CEO of a fantastic initiative whose vision is to make outdoor play in nature an everyday part of childhood.
Sarah Sutter heads up the not-for-profit organisation, Nature Play SA.
“In a short period of time, childhood has evolved into something most of us wouldn’t recognise. If we pause, our own experience of childhood is likely to look very different to that of our children. A number of societal changes have combined to brew the perfect storm. We lead busy lives. As working parents, we look to structured activities and new technologies to help us manage our time. Backyards have been reduced to courtyards and there’s a growing fear for our children’s safety.
While it may feel like we’re making gains, what we’ve lost is the space to play. To create, imagine and be bored. To spend time in nature, engaging all of our senses, socialise and, most importantly, learn.
Current research is telling us that our children are not as happy, healthy or emotionally resilient as they once were. Language and physical delays are on the rise, as well as growing uncertainty amongst our children when they spend time in the natural world – something that should bring joy, calmness, clarity and freedom.”
Join me as I chat to Sarah about how Nature Play SA are working to empower parents, educators and the broader community to bring the essential elements of childhood back into our lives.
To learn more about Nature Play SA and how you can get involved as a parent or a teacher, please visit natureplaysa.org.au
The children’s book Sarah talked about, that she has enjoyed sharing with her daughter, is All Through The Year by Jane Godwin and illustrated by Anna Walker, published in 2010.
It’s a journey through the seasons over the course of a year in the life of an Australian family told through the eyes of a child. You get to experience the family’s favourite activities and feelings in each season. The watercolour illustrations are beautiful.
If you are interested in reading the book, you can get buy it here [amazon link – make it a payable link]
If you would like to read the book visit All Through The Year (Imogen’s affiliate link)
The book that Sarah mentioned as being the inspiration behind the creation of Nature Play is Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. He coins the term ‘nature deficit disorder’ to explain the disturbing trends (obesity, attention disorders, depression) in childhood as a direct result of the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation.
As well as bringing together the research that supports direct exposure to nature as being essential to the healthy development of children; it also offers solutions and steps to take to reconnect to what will heal us……the natural world.
If you would like to read the book visit The Last Child In The Woods (Imogen’s affiliate link)
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