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The Risks of Risk

Posted by: Rhonda June 7, 2016

 “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller

For some reason, children relish the exhilarating feeling of climbing to scary heights, spinning crazily on a swing, or dangling from monkey bars. The feeling of freedom, with just the right degree of perceived danger, produces the exciting thrill of adventure. For the responsible adult, however, seeing a child engaging in risky play rouses an innate drive to protect them from harm.

But is calling them off the climbing frame really protecting them or is it setting them up for future failures?

“Risk is a vital component of children’s play,” writes Teresa Gonsoski. “It allows children to be challenged, to face uncertainty, to problem-solve, and to think outside the box.” These are the qualities that “become the building blocks for later learning and managing of experiences, both throughout school and as an adult.”

Is it possible to create an environment where risk-taking is intentionally encouraged without jeopardizing the safety of the children? Read more.