Nature Playscapes

Risky Play

& Loose Parts!

Hi – I’m Rusty and I’m glad you are here!

I am excited to help you with your dreams of outdoor play adventures for your children!

I am a natural playspace designer who has traveled the world for over 30 years designing beautiful outdoor play environments and speaking about the benefits of saying “yes” to play.

I love helping folks like you create playscapes that celebrate the wonder of nature and support children’s right to play!

Rusty's Latest Book

Adventures in Risky Play goes to the heart of risk-taking and children. As parents and educators working with young children, we all have boundaries and feelings around what risky play should be allowed. Rusty Keeler invites us to examine the cage of boundaries that we have created for ourselves and our children.

Rusty's Online Courses!

NATURAL PLAYSCAPE DESIGN is the latest online offer from Rusty Keeler. Join Rusty for this six-part course that will take you deep into the world of Natural Playscape Design.

Rusty's Outdoor Furniture!

Rusty’s Nature to Play Collection with Kaplan Early Learning Company is a beautiful line of outdoor play and learning furnishings perfect for every outdoor classroom! Featuring Mud Kitchens, Art Tables, Fun Seating, Water Play, Loose Parts and more!

here’s how rusty can help you

“It was an absolute pleasure working with Rusty!”

Aimee Pryba

Events and Communications Coordinator, NY AEYC

“Rusty is an incredible mentor that shares his expertise with great love, passion, and gratitude. He so clearly cares about children and those that work with them.”

Katie Pollock

Master Teacher, Nature Preschool UD Lab School

“Rusty is a never ending source of innovation, creativity, inspiration and fun to the core!”

Bobbi j Geise

Learning By Nature

Rusty Designs

Check out some of Rusty’s MASTER PLAN projects!



Rusty Keynotes conferences around the world!

FREE Rusty Resources!

rusty’s Furniture collection


Check out Rusty’s outdoor play and learning furniture line by Kaplan

rusty’s projects

Check out some of Rusty’s past projects

rusty’s store


Check out Rusty’s selection of nature play products, books and clothing!

rusty’s books


Check out Rusty’s books on Natural Playscapes and Risky Play

Beauty of Play

Where did you play as a child? In nature? In vacant lots? On the street? In your backyard? Were you a free range kid? All children deserve great places to play. Let’s create them for today’s children!

Nature play

Living willow huts, hills, sand and water play, trees, gardens, paths, herbs, butterflies, hidey nooks and more — all with a variety of sounds, smells, textures and tastes.

Adventure play

Rough and tumble landscapes that support open-ended, child-directed free play with loose materials and endless possibilities for children to create their own play, get messy, and take risks!

risky Play

Risk-taking is essential for the healthy development of children’s minds, bodies and spirits  — it’s how they learn and grow! It’s important for adults to take deep breaths and create opportunities for risky play.

Tour a rusty playscape

Spend a few minutes in this park-like preschool playscape designed by Rusty and community-built with Rusty’s guidance. A sweet space!

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