Linking Practice to Theory and Research – Risk and Adventure
At IDEA ELC we are interested to know that there is growing evidence to support the view that playing outdoors in the early years is not only enjoyable for young children, it is also essential to them developing healthily as well as learning about their world and developing appropriate attitudes to the environment.
A survey by the Children’s Play Council found that 80% of children prefer to play outdoors rather than indoors. When asked about their preference for different activities, 86% of children preferred outdoor learning activities.
As adults, both as parents and practitioners, we need to listen to the voice of children and ensure we do all we can to provide them with good quality outdoor experiences.
Outdoor play provides children with essential opportunities for robust play, taking risks, testing strength, challenging their physical and cognitive skills. Many parents and practitioners worry about children having accidents or are concerned for their personal safety. Statistically, children have more accidents in the home than they do outside.
At IDEA ELC, outdoor play is seen as essential for learning. In high quality settings children can play outside under thorough risk assessments. Our staff carry out risk assessments in such a way that strikes a balance between the need for challenge and healthy risk and prevention of unnecessary accidents.
Our staff take account of individual children and what they can safely manage and support them in developing skills. They know that accidents cannot be totally avoided; while risk assessment will prevent many serious accidents, minor accidents, such as falling off a bike, will be a part of any child’s life and can be used as a learning opportunity.
‘Unfortunate as accidents are, they do provide children with opportunities for positive life lessons. A too safe environment may be the cause of accidents if a child has no awareness of risk or has not developed the ability to rise to challenges.’ (Learning through Landscapes, 2006).
Find out more by chatting to our teaching team. You can arrange a time convenient for you by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.