Resources and Links

11/06/2015 7:07

(Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive nor in any specific order. I intend to regularly update it and would be happy to hear of other sites, blogs and forums you think should be included) 

Children’s Natural Playspaces 
Free Play network – some excellent examples of children’s spaces (and some not so good!)
Earth Play Network – a forum for anyone interested in children’s natural playspaces.
Natural Learning Initiative 
Let kids play – Mara Kaplans’ comprehensive site about inclusive play
Helle Nebelong – A champion of playspace design
Grassroots Playscapes –  Take me to Hawaii – now!!
Childspace – see what amazing ideas are coming from New Zealand!
Frode – the king of European playspaces – really inspiring works.
Playbased learninga stimulating Australian site from Sherry Hutton and Donna Burns in Melbourne
Eco Child’s PlayFantastic site dedicated to green living and parenting, choc full of informative articles
Play England
Kids of nature  – reconnecting children with nature
Mindstretchers – Scotlands First nature kindergarten
Natural Playgrounds – a design company in the US with some interesting articles about children’s play
White Hutchinson – a design company in the US who do lots of advocacy for children and natural play
Stickwork – site of the interesting willow sculpture pics
Sustainable Gardening Australia – sustainable gardening information – great site for articles, links,
Landscape Online – interesting article on nature and play
Planet Earth Playscapes – Design website of Rusty Keeler who initiated the Earthplay forum – great site , great resources and links
World Forum  – US forum on children and nature
KorlancA Hungarian site detailing Eco-education organisations and links
Bay Tree Design – an intriguing Eco-design site in California that specialises in creating magnificent learning and play environments for schools – see their new book in Essential Reading
The Natural Playground Company –You want nature they got it in truckloads…seriously! 
Green Hearts – a non profit educational advocacy for nature and play
Boundless Playgrounds – a leading national nonprofit developer of inclusive playgrounds
Rethinking Childhood – Tim Gills’ website
Learning by the yard – Ruth Parnall and Virginia Sullivans excellent site. full of insight & information.  

Landcurrent Natural Playgrounds –full of information on nature play discovery and learning
Friends of Nature – oldest environmental NGO in China

Natural Play And Playspace Blogs 

(Note Google Chrome automatically translates non-English Sites)

The Family Adventure Project “ideas and inspiration to make your family life active, adventurous and interesting. Or not.”

Trinity Acres Farmgeting outside and out of the system, what  living in harmony with nature is about.
Early Childhood education and Commonsense two of my favourite things
I’m a teacher get me outside here!  Multi award winning blog (it should be!) From beautiful Scootland (local dialect), links articles, ideas and the kitchen sink.
Let the children Play –  an outstanding blog chock full of links, resources and inspiration
Nature Action Collaborative for Children

Different perspectives
Free Range Kids
The Red Swing Project 

Playspace resources
Twigz – Children’s gardening equipment, robust,functional and practical.
Timber creations – highly imaginative hand crafted wooden play equipment.
Innovative Park and Green Designs 
Archival and historical Downloads

An Ongoing Play Bibliography

Details of historic text relating to the philosphy and construction of childrens playspaces.


Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair
This theoretical article views children’s risky play from an evolutionary perspective, addressing specific evolutionary functions and especially the anti-phobic effects of risky play. According to the non-associative theory, a contemporary approach to the etiology of anxiety, children develop fears of certain stimuli (e.g., heights and strangers) that protect them from situations they are not mature enough to cope with, naturally through infancy. Risky play is a set of motivated behaviors that both provide the child with an exhilarating positive emotion and expose the child to the stimuli they previously have feared. As the child’s coping skills improve, these situations and stimuli may be mastered and no longer be feared. Thus fear caused by maturational and age relevant natural inhibition is reduced as the child experiences a motivating thrilling activation, while learning to master age adequate challenges. It is concluded that risky play may have evolved due to this anti-phobic effect in normal child development, and it is suggested that we may observe an increased neuroticism or psychopathology in society if children are hindered from partaking in age adequate risky play.
Jim Jolley tyre designs  a pioneer in the creation of playgrounds for the poor through the use of recycled materials and low cost building techniques    
Modern Childhoods: History, Space and the Material Culture of Children; An international reader, Rutgers University Press, 2007, Cahpter 8, Adventure Playgrounds and Postwar reconstruction, Roy Kozlovsky
Benefits of Plants in playspaces  –Pan Canadian Early Development Imperative, Sheila Greive 2009
Little Green Steps – link to a document developed by the Wyong/Gosford Council NSW , packed with information about natural environments and sustainability
Mud Pies and Daisy Chains  – Link to an article by Julie David and Sue Elliott (2004) 
Video Downloads

February 2006 – Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity. Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
February 2010 – Bring on the Learning revolution. Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardised schools to personalised learning – creating conditions where children’s natural talents can flourish.

Audio Downloads

(Thanks to Catherine Lee, The Point Preschool, Oyster Bay and the kind permission of ABC Radio National)

I have also posted below links to Powerpoint presentations I have given over the years at various Seminars,Conferences and Forums in respect to respect to:

Please take and use whatever is beneficial to you. The only caveat I would impose is that they not be used for paid presentations. Whilst all due care has been given to reference photos used within them, if you see or are aware of a photo that isn’t appropriately titled please let me know and I’ll immediately update,replace or remove it. 

Tess Michaels