What is Your Yes?

We all love play. We all want to support it. But we all have limits and certain play behavior makes us uncomfortable. Are we protecting our children or over protecting them? We know that appropriate risk is vitally important for childhood. To grow up healthy, resilient and confident, children need to be able to assess risk for themselves. If we do it all the assessing and saying “be careful”, “get down”, and “no” then how do children learn for themselves? But we don’t want children getting injured in the process. What’s a caring caregiver to do?

Rusty’s Risky Play workshop gets right to the heart of the matter with empathy and encouragement, and challenges us to confront our fears around risky play, ask why we say no to certain kinds of play, and find new ways to say yes.

Rusty will get you thinking while providing lots of tools and tips to help us loosen our grip and feel more confident supporting riskier play. Risky Play toolkit includes:

  • risk-benefit analysis
  • difference between risk and hazard
  • trusting children
  • working with parents
  • no bad weather just bad clothing
  • applied playwork principles
  • rethinking your rules
  • environmental choices


Provocative discussion topics include:

  • rough and tumble play
  • fire
  • water
  • mud
  • chickens
  • loose parts
  • mixed ages
  • tools
  • bare feet
  • sticks
  • tree climbing
  • hiding
  • mud kitchens
  • messy zones and more!

Rusty’s Risky Play workshop will take you on a tour of amazing programs and schools from around the world who embrace risky, messy, child-led play—forest schools, adventure playgrounds, loose parts elementary recess, and inspiring early childhood education centers.

I love the idea of taking a breath and stepping back before jumping in and saying “no” and watch to see what children are capable of.

Steacy Fenwick-Huffman, LARC 4 Kids

Say Yes! Your yes may be different from others. Chickens! Need I say more??

Donna Kaye, Family Space

Levi swing

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