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crunchywannabe November 15th, 2012 04:55 PM

Risky Play Ok?
 
I was at a weekend 'summit' back in Sept. that was all about 'Nature Play' and one of the seminars was talking about 'nature kindergartens' in Norway and how the children spend all day outdoors, learning, playing and exploring. One large element of this style of learning is engaging in "risky play" (climbing up high in trees, Jumping off large rocks, playing near campfires, and using real tools like hammers, nails and pocket knives from a young age)

In Canada we have such amazing 'nature' around us all the time, even if you live in big cities it isn't hard to get out and enjoy your natural surroundings, (in rural areas or in large parks)

Do you feel it's important for kids to get outside, and what level of "risky play" are you comfortable with, and where do you draw the line? Also can you come up with more examples of play generally deemed as 'risky'?

MissLoki November 15th, 2012 05:24 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
Honestly, the way they do things in Norway pretty much sums up our philosophy about 'risky' play. I know my answer is super short but I'm completely knackered (baby boy was hospitalized over the weekend and we had a rough week) so I'll come back to write a bit more :p

mccaroline November 15th, 2012 07:29 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
I'm OK with some amount of risk, I mean we have a farm, the kids are allowed to run free around it, both girls have used hammers, screwdrivers and other simple tools when they were 3, they can both start a campfire and cook over one, we've taken them canoeing and such since they were infants, they climb trees and fences, ride dirt bikes etc. We do big camping trips every year where they are always exploring something, we've done cave exploring and explored rivers, lakes and bays. I just like an adult to know where they are and what the plans are, if they are near water or fire and adult needs to be with them.

crunchywannabe November 15th, 2012 08:29 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
I am curious to see how my own philosophies grow and change over the course of my parenting journey.... But right now I strongly believe in the importance of this subject! Right now I hope that my children grow to be confident, healthy and independent (at appropriate ages)!!!!
Something I took away from the seminar this past fall was that giving even very young children the opportunity to fall and to fail teaches them so much that it out weighs the risk. A 2 yr old who attempts to pull themselves up on a board, or low branch and fails will develop better balance and coordination when they are 3, and at that age they may not be able to climb any higher, but at 4 they will have better skills to ***** the risk and danger and their abilities to maybe climb higher then as their body has developed further. Children learn from and build on their own skills. with few exceptions, children do not want/like putting themselves in situations where they feel insecure or lacking confidence in their ability.
I also liked the idea of giving children real tools, and glass dishes etc. They showed a video where a plastic hammer was placed in some toys and the young children pick it up and play with it, hitting themselves and each other in the process.... but when a real hammer was introduced to the play they regarded it with respect and no longer tried to hit people, just the wood blocks. I think giving children 'real dishes' (glass) shows them that you trust them, and you are giving them responsibility to use the real thing.... worst case senario an accident happens and you sweep up the glass. (heck I drop those darn things all the time)
I guess to sum up, I really value risky play and outdoor play (I think those are closely related) :) I hope to not let my own fear, anxieties, and comfort level interfere with my children's experience learning to build on their own experiences.

magz88 November 15th, 2012 08:47 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
I definitely believe in risky play/nature play.

mccaroline November 15th, 2012 09:23 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
OK, I have to admit, I still give my kids, even my 9 year old plastic dishes unless it's a celebration type meal. I had to pick glass out of my DD's foot once when she dropped a glass plate then stepped in the glass and I never want to have to do that again. I guess that is my own learning from doing something risky.

Jessimaaka November 15th, 2012 09:50 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
I think it is important. It is how I grew up. Provided there is supervision.

2pinks&ablue November 15th, 2012 10:44 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
I think it's very important! My kids (3.5 and 5) play in the back yard (and I don't mean fenced in city yard, we live in the middle of nowhere, our backyard is a huge field lol) for hours sometimes. I can see them from the window and they know not to leave the yard, when they get older they're "boundaries" will expand. They climb trees, dig holes, play hide and seek, climb, and run freely. When I was a kid, my Mom was happy if I let her know where I was going and came back for meals :lol:

Countrymom4 November 16th, 2012 07:40 AM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
I do think they need risky play, with boundarys. The machines are OFF limites without a adult.

crunchywannabe November 16th, 2012 08:19 AM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
Apparently I can't spell a-s-s-e-s-s without it staring it out... oops.

Anyways I was just going to add that where I feel uncomfortable is like mentioned is dealing with supervision. The presenter who worked at these schools in norway talked about the children (3 and 4 yr olds) going down to the river to play alone. Completely unsupervised for periods of time. I just can't imagine feeling ok with that, but then there was this idea that my comfort zone is a tiny box and then everywhere outside of that box is where 'the magic happens'... I'm curious when I really look at what I'm afraid of and what my kids are capable of if I'll feel differently!

Jessimaaka November 16th, 2012 01:55 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
Well, by a river for example, I would totally insist on supervision, but something in a field I wouldn't be as concerned. I think there's varying degrees of supervision to help avoid the magic box syndrome.

Corrupt November 16th, 2012 03:43 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
I think risky play is good. Certainly, some supervision is necessary depending on age and situation but I think it's also important to let them be.
I can't really say where I'd draw the line; each situation would depend on a number of things. When I look at our parenting, compared to others we know, I think our son (DD's only three months old) is allowed to do a lot more things that I imagine others would call risky.
I grew up on a farm and was encouraged to do all kinds of fun stuff that alot of other kids I knew never got to...I imagine that has quite a bit to do with my very eclectic taste in the things I enjoy.
I really hope my kids grow up with a try anything once kind of attitude too.

crunchywannabe November 17th, 2012 08:37 AM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
Here is another side of this that DH and I discussed last night.....


ROUGH AND TUMBLE PLAY!!!!

I don't think it's as common with girls but it sure can be with boys! What are your feelings? Do you think it should be 'nipped in the bud' or that is also an important part of development and 'being a kid'?

Where do you draw the line. What is that based on. If you let it carry on, and a child gets hurt, and starts crying to you, what is your response?

Jessimaaka November 17th, 2012 09:18 AM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
It is an important part of development imo. As long as the difference between rough and tumble play vs bullying can be established. I'd say for girls as well as boys. I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers, and there was definitely lots of rough and tumble play (8 years between me and my youngest brother, so we're all close in age).

So I'd draw the line once there appears to be vicious intent to hurt not related to the game at hand.

If a child gets hurt during the rough and tumble play I'll console him/her but show them how they can use it as a lesson for next time, either not to go that far or how to protect themselves next time.

2pinks&ablue November 17th, 2012 05:04 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessimaaka (Post 26778176)
It is an important part of development imo. As long as the difference between rough and tumble play vs bullying can be established. I'd say for girls as well as boys. I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers, and there was definitely lots of rough and tumble play (8 years between me and my youngest brother, so we're all close in age).

So I'd draw the line once there appears to be vicious intent to hurt not related to the game at hand.

If a child gets hurt during the rough and tumble play I'll console him/her but show them how they can use it as a lesson for next time, either not to go that far or how to protect themselves next time.

Exactly!

crunchywannabe November 18th, 2012 08:08 AM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
Here is a really neat article that talks about risky play! Kids need the adventure of 'risky' play | Society | The Observer

Jessimaaka November 18th, 2012 01:32 PM

Re: Risky Play Ok?
 
Who says no to hide & seek?!?!

Very interesting article! I can believe the 70% in the past compared with 29% now, I rarely see kids out and about on their own, even 10+ year olds.


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