Of all the paths you
take in life, make sure
a few of them are dirt
– John Muir
I am Prue Spry and play naturally OT grew out of my concern about the future for our children, their health and development and that of the planet. As well as a worry that the busy lifestyle many families lead and increasing technology around makes it harder for us all to genuinely connect.
- Children are spending more time indoors than children in generations before them, they are on screens and surrounded by technology more than ever making them disconnected from the natural world!
- Our children are not as physically active. In 2011–12, less than one-quarter of children aged 5–14 undertook the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Our planet and its natural environment are at extreme risk!
- It is common for children to find it hard to concentrate and attend.
- Children are struggling to manage their emotions and find calm in their lives. 1 in 5 children has, or has had, a serious mental health disorder at some point in their lives.
- Children are having less opportunities to climb trees, swing on ropes, make cubbies, play in dirt and as a result can have more sensory challenges.
- The list could go on and on…………
I want to help children and families connect with nature and with each other so that we can all find greater joy and ease in our lives.
I want children and families to play naturally, as we are born to do, and as we have done in generations gone by!
Nature isn’t new, people have evolved with nature over thousands and thousands of generations, our bodies are attuned with nature, we are designed to be in nature and interact with nature, so it is no surprise that we function better in nature!
I want our children and our children’s children to be able to enjoy the beauty of our natural world!
The research is there, the evidence is clear, children and families who are more connected with nature have better health and wellbeing outcomes! To read more about this visit the why nature and play? page.
Ever since I was a child I have been connected to nature in some way and it has been a significant part of my life. Both my parents and grandparents grew up in nature on farming properties, and although I grew up in suburbia this culture of outdoors and playing naturally has helped develop my love of nature. I always remember having adventures outside as a child, playing in the garden, going on camping trip, visiting farms, playing in paddocks and getting messy in sand and dirt.
I am now a mum of 2 boys and nature is still a huge part of our lives, and I have seen the benefits personally for our family to be connected with nature. Having children and growing a family has been one of the toughest times in my life, but being with nature I know my children, husband and I are calmer and more connected. My children are more caring and able to cooperate and play with confidence while in nature. It has also helped them to become more coordinated and connected with themselves, as well as be more environmentally aware. I have read so much evidence on the benefits of nature for health and wellbeing, but there is nothing like seeing the benefits for your own family! This makes me want to spread the word as far as I can to help every child and family to experience the benefits of connecting with nature!
I am an Occupational Therapist (OT) with over 15 years of experience working in rural and urban settings for people of all ages across Adelaide, South Australia and overseas in Scotland. My passion and most experience has been working with with children and families and I have been privileged to be part of their many stories. I am a keen learner and have further training in play and nature based therapy. I bring knowledge of child development, of being flexible and grading and adapting activities for different developmental levels. I know the importance of relationships and I always bring my authentic self. I also acknowledge and celebrate neurodiversity.
I also have a Diploma in Art Therapy and have seen the profound impact that ideas from this practice have supported my life and those of children and families that I work with. Art, nature and OT have a lovely connection which supports play naturally OT.
I am a registered Occupational Therapist with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) and Medicare Provider Number. I have a current Senior First Aid Certificate, RRHAN training and Working with Children’s Check.
I can’t wait to see you in nature soon!
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