Rusty’s Books

Rusty’s books on play and playscapes are favorites of educators, parents, and other professionals looking to support children’s right to play and create natural outdoor environments for children.

Adventures in Risky Play

What is Your Yes?

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. He challenges us to rattle our cage and discover where the lines are movable. In our role as educators and caretakers, when we allow children to play and confront risk on their own terms, we see them develop, hold their locus of control and make choices on how to navigate the bumpy terrain of a situation. What better teaching tool for life is there?

I love that Rusty is taking us on a journey to turn “no” into a “yes.” I have a backpack that is with me on my travels of books that are crucial to my soul. This book will be added, you might want to add it also.”

Daniel Hodgins, author of Boys: Changing the Classroom, Not the Child and Get Over It! Relearning Guidance Practices

“This is a book that encourages you to completely change the way you think about how children could and should play. As Rusty points out, the greatest barrier to children playing is often we adults and our hang-ups and concerns yet overcoming those is not only possible but essential if our children are to get the most from their play experiences. Prepare to be challenged.”

Marc Armitage, Playworker, Independent Children’s Play Advocate & Consultant

Seasons of Play

Natural Environments of Wonder

Recent research has drawn the link between children¹s 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.

Natural Playscapes

Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul

You can do it. You can create extraordinary outdoor places for young children without highly complex play contraptions surrounded by a sea of wood chips or gravel… Places for children that tickle the imagination and surprise the senses‚ places for young ones of all abilities to discover themselves and the world around them.

This book is about the movement in children’s outdoor play areas – where the entire space and is filled with art, hills, pathways, trees, herbs, open areas, sand, water, music, and more… Where children find places to run, climb, dig, pretend, and hide, with opportunities to bellow or be silent.

“There are times when you can judge a book by its cover. Two imps peering out from behind a moss covered tree trunk suggest that Natural Playspaces; Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul is going to be a joyous and playful journey of discovery. This is a book about planning for play where the primary focus is the child, and the title refers not to the body but to the soul. Bliss.”

Ric McConaghy

Australia, International Play Association

I like the pictures because they are so cool.. I want to build the stuff and look at the book at the same time. I marked all the best pictures in the book but I ran out of sticky notes. Thank you for a cool book!”


Age 6