1) Risky Play and Children’s Safety: Balancing Priorities forOptimal Child Development - Dr. M. Brussoni
Significance: Children develop strong risk-assessment skills through play at an early age. Over-protective environements hinder this development and potentially lead to more serious injuries later in life. Nature Play supports risk-assessment, full-body engagement and more thorough gross-motor skills.
Abstract: "Injury prevention plays a key role in keeping children safe, but emerging research suggests that imposing too many restrictions on children’s outdoor risky play hinders their development. We explore the relationship between child development, play, and conceptions of risk taking with the aim of informing child injury prevention. Generational trends indicate children’s diminishing engagement in outdoor play is influenced by parental and societal concerns. We outline the importance of play as a necessary ingredient for healthy child development and review the evidence for arguments supporting the need for outdoor risky play, including: (1) children have a natural propensity towards risky play; and, (2) keeping children safe involves letting them take and manage risks"
2) How Not to Cheat Children: The Theory of Loose Parts - S. Nicholson
Significance: The more variables there are in a space, the more engaging it is. Loose parts and nature play support this.
“In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the
possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of
variables in it.” Simon Nicholson – The Theory of Loose Parts, 1971
3) Helsinki Alert of Biodiversity & Health - Hertzen
Significance: Children need to stimulate their immune systems through through continued exposure to environmental organisms. Nature Play supports this.
Abstract: "Urban living in built environments, combined with the use ofprocessed water and food, may not provide the microbial stimu-lation necessary for a balanced development of immune func-tion. Many chronic in ammatory disorders, including allergic,autoimmune, metabolic, and even some behavioural disorders,are linked to alteration in the human commensal microbiota.Sedentary lifestyle is associated with reduced exposure to abroad spectrum of environmental micro-organisms and surplusenergy balance, both risk factors of chronic in ammatory disorders. According to the Biodiversity Hypothesis, an environmentwith diverse macrobiota and microbiota modi es and enrichesthe human microbiota, which in turn is crucial in the develop-ment and maintenance of appropriate immune function"