Our connection to the land as adults is often rooted in our childhood experiences of time spent in play outside. Many educators and parents seeking to offer rich, immersive outdoor risky play experiences have memories of their own feelings of belonging and connecting with the natural world.
Perhaps there was a gully you explored just beyond your yard as a child. Perhaps it was an empty overgrown building lot. Perhaps it was a little forest in the nearby park. Perhaps it was a farm with rows of crops where you felt the wind and watched the bugs.
As educators we continue to hold space to create these moments of groundedness, belonging, movement, challenge and joy both for our children, and for ourselves. Our connection with our own play memories can inform the ways we hold space and support risky play today. Anita Bains, an educator in the Okanagan Syilx Nation, talks us through this moment of connection.