Early Learning Leaders Australia

Nature, Play and Child Development with Lukas Ritson

We talk to nature play advocate, and Wearthy founder, Lukas Ritson about Nature, Play and Child Development, a fascinating area that has seen renewed interest and focus in recent years.

In this episode we cover

– Lukas’ career pathway from permaculture and landscaping into education
– The social and environment changes impacting on child development
– How to put children at the centre of our work – accountability and key indicators
– Taking practical action on our environment and sustainability
– Tackling the challenges of creating a natural playground
– Benefits of courageous play

Our quote of the episode

“When we are fulfilled in a space, the innate response is, ‘Hey, I’ll care for the thing that cares for me.’

And as anyone that talks to me has heard me say time and time again, environment creates behaviour, and behaviour is language. So you can assess what the children are telling you about the environment they’re engaging with.”

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Watch the conversation:

Content highlights:

[02:07] Lukas’ motivation to educate on nature

[03:14] Changes in children’s play freedoms between generations

[06:19] The attributes of a “natural playground”?

[08:10] Discovering the synergistic relationship between our bodies and the world

[12:27] Practical challenges of a natural play environment

[16:42] Getting unbiased feedback from 3-5 year olds

[21:18] The measurable impacts of creating child-centred play areas

[24:43] The real reward and boost a child gets from overcoming challenge

[33:54] Looking beyond “natural” and beyond “playgrounds”

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