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Seasons of Play
Natural Environments of Wonder

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Seasons of Play Excerpt


Seasons of Play
Natural Environments of Wonder



Item number: 10062
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Recent research has drawn the link between children’s brain development and time spent in the natural environment. Every child deserves a safe play to play, supportive adults to watch him grow, and an environment that offers her endless possibilities. In Seasons of Play, Rusty Keeler takes readers on a photographic journey through real child care centers that have embraced his philosophy that natural play environments create new opportunities for children to explore and grow.

Seasons of Play promotes play among natural elements. Using the author’s own photos, the book illustrates how to design natural play environments that encourage exploration and creativity in all seasons of the year. Keeler’s own drawings complement the photos with renderings of how the play spaces were designed. Interviews with center directors add a personal touch to how the spaces improve learning at the centers.

Rusty Keeler

Rusty Keeler is a play space designer who has worked over the past 20 years with hundreds of community, school, parks, university, and child care leaders to dream, design, and construct...

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Seasons of Play has won the Creative Child Magazine, 2017 Preferred Choice Award.

“This book immediately beckons & screams "Joy Over Here!" I could not wait to digest the pictorial feast it offers. The photos pull you in quickly and COMPLETELY immerse you into the programs' environments. You instantly feel a part of these programs. As you turn the pages, you hear children giggling, digging, chanting, crunching & whispering. The descriptions and words are simple and concise adding just enough to flesh out your interpretation but leaving room for you to feel personally engaged. I immediately began to make lists of things to gather, tasks to undertake to modify & evolve my outdoor spaces. By having the four seasons depicted at each program, Rusty eliminates the statements that naysayers may trot out such as "But that won't work in Winter. They won't use that in Fall." etc. The photos reveal the planning is easy & the interviews make your feel capable! This book is a MUST for EVERY ECE program whether home based or centre, lab school or just a family backyard! It holds a priority place on my desk & will be opened often.”

Heather Hansen-Dunbar
owner/director, Kids R Kids Early Learning Center

“The pages of this book are filled with photos that create a beautiful visual display of the possibilities for play during all seasons for young children in an outdoor natural playscape. Rusty's insight into the thoughtful design put into each space by each of the providers helps to bridge the gap between beautiful ideas and how to bring those ideas to life in a play space for children. In addition to the beautiful visual display this book provides, Rusty has dedicated a short but very helpful section in the book to questions, answers, tips, tools, and resources for providers looking to make changes to an existing outdoor space or build a new outdoor space for their own programs. Seasons of Play is a tool that belongs on every early childhood educator's bookshelf to be pulled out repeatedly for inspiration as all outdoor environments naturally change over time.”

Stephanie Krause
Bloom Childrens Center, Bend, OR

“I often carry a collection of books that never leave my side. I call them 'Books for the Soul.' I have added a new one, Seasons of Play, by Rusty Keeler. Seasons of Play has brought back real and authentic experiences that are important for children in outdoor settings. This is a book that you will want to keep close to your soul.”

Daniel Hodgins
Early Childhood Specialist

“This book gave me so many good ideas. Im always looking for ways my kids could have fun but safe ways to play and hang out outside.”

Creative Child Awards

“The cover already caught my attention. The ideas are great! They aren't that hard to accomplish as well which is great.”

Creative Child Awards

“I love this book! It's a great idea book for getting kids outside. The pictures are very descriptive as well.”

Creative Child Awards