Today’s podcast guests are Sarah Sutter and Jason Tyndall, CEO and GM of Nature Play SA respectively. Nature Play SA is a not-for-profit organisation, the vision of which is to “inspire the South Australian community to engage children in nature through outdoor learning and play”.
Nature Play SA runs numerous events in outdoor spaces and national parks around South Australia including events for families where kids can engage in cubby house building, potion making and other activities where they will be assured to get their hands dirty. They work with educators to teach them how to encourage children to engage with nature and also run incursions in schools. When the organisation was formed, Sarah was approached by the Board and asked if she would be it’s inaugural CEO because, in addition to being well qualified, the Board recognised that Sarah truly lives the brand.
Sarah and Jason talk about their observations that childhood has changed dramatically in the past several decades; children growing up in our risk averse society can have underdeveloped gross motor skills and be reluctant to take any risks, having been discouraged from doing so to be kept “safe”, yet taking risks helps develop decision making, especially around risk. Playing in nature is an excellent way to practise this skill plus it encourages decision making, emotional regulation, social interaction and curiosity. Sarah and Jason have witnessed some really inspiring results from their work and share some uplifting stories with us.
My favourite line in this podcast is when Jason says, “nature is for everyone”.
Here is a link to Nature Play SA’s website: https://natureplaysa.org.au
Here is a link to my epode with Dr Scott Coussens where we discuss unstructured nature play and resilience in children, which relates closely to the current episode: https://amandaswellbeingpodcast.com/scott-coussens-nature-play/
PS Many of you would know that Sarah is an Australian netball icon. She was in Australia’s 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medal winning team! Don’t worry, I do ask Sarah some netball questions.