August 8, 2022

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Is there too little space in the kindergarten to engage in risky play?

Is there too little space in the kindergarten to engage in risky play?

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As future kindergarten teachers, it is important that our fears associated with risk play do not destroy children. These students write rather to set an example.

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After spending nearly three years teaching kindergarten teachers, he is slowly but surely approaching the end of studies and time to step into working life. If we want to start right away as an educational leader, you have the responsibility to lead and implement educational work in the department.

One topic that often has a lot of controversy, and which we will encounter many times in kindergarten, is risk play.

Playing with risks leads to learning and mastery in children

Children should have varied motor experiences in kindergarten and should feel empowered. The big question is how should we give it to the children if we adults do not dare to let the children do as they please. The thing adults often say in kindergarten is “No, don’t do that because it can be dangerous!”

How will children experience mastery and different movement experiences if we adults put an end to it?

Researchers believe that playing with risks is important for learning about risks and leading to a child’s mastery. If we do not allow children to feel the risks as children, they may soon be exposed to greater risks as they get older. We adults must withdraw and not decide what dries children and what does not. Children must learn to set their own limits. If a child gets a bruise here and there, this is not dangerous, it is completely normal.

Of course we must make sure that children play in a safe environment, we must believe after all that for parents, their children are their friend. Parents should feel that the child is in a safe environment. With parents’ cooperation, it is important to have a mutual understanding of risky play. It is important to find a balance between child protection and the overprotected child in kindergarten.

What is risk play?

Risky play depends entirely on the age of the child and the kindergarten staff.

For young children, it can be a risky game with a very simple obstacle course, or just balancing something. For older children, in some kindergartens, climbing trees, or nailing them with a knife, can be considered a risky game, while in other kindergartens children climb high in trees and nail with a knife on their own.

An alternative might be for the kids to try it out on their own to master risk-taking. They can, for example, pin an adult together at first, and try more and more on their own over time. They can also climb a little higher in trees because they feel safe.

It is important for children to be exposed to dangers through play, so that they can test and extend their limits. Children who are spared risky play in kindergarten, and childhood in general, will not outgrow the risks. Exposing children to risky play is not just about experience and mastery of risks. Playing risk is also very important for a child’s physical and motor development. Children who take risks, and eventually manage to control the risks, will later in life have the competence to assess the risky situations they face.

Our role as kindergarten teachers

As educational leaders, it is important to be able to encourage risky play, but also to be able to be a safe adult who can be present. The child must be able to feel mastered in everyday life and be able to challenge himself.

We as responsible adults must be able to encourage them to give them the challenges that a child needs. It is important that children are not “pressured” to take greater risks than they feel they can take.

As a composite of employees, there will be employees with a different perception of risk play. Some can care a lot if they have various accidents and incidents connected with this, and some are very liberal.

It is important to be able to balance and understand each other. Both to be able to give a group of children the development and challenges they need to be able to reveal and shape themselves positively.

As future kindergarten teachers, it is important that our fears associated with risk play do not destroy children, but rather that we should be role models for children. We must open our eyes to kindergarten workers that risky play does not necessarily have to be dangerous, and is essential for children’s diverse, physical and motor development. As educational leaders, we believe it is important to have good parental collaboration as parents are sensitized and involved in this process of children’s development.

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