Today’s Remake Learning blog post is a great reminder of the importance of risk in positive, productive and fun play experiences and environments. In her article, Kathleen Costanza cites several helpful and high-profile sources supporting the proposition that careful, intentional introduction of risk to the design and use of play spaces is a critical part of supporting children’s healthy development and growth.
Kathleen also deftly describes how her own childhood play experiences were, in retrospect, more memorable when “our play had an element of risk…. a sense of exhilaration when climbing and sliding on sculptures slightly taller and unfamiliar than I was used to.” This observation itself illustrates the power of true freedom when we allow “free play” for our children and those in our care. Please visit the Remake Learning blog and read Kathleen’s post; it’s a valuable addition to the conversation.
For those interested in some of the research base supporting these ideas, Alliance for Childhood, an important advocacy agency founded by Joan Almon, produced a compelling book titled Adventure: The Value of Risk in Children’s Play. This should be required reading for anyone involved in education, playground design, and related policy-making as well as for parents
Finally, if you prefer presentations to print, click here to check out Ms. Almon’s May 2014 address at Wellesley College on this topic.