Lesson 4: Quality Practices in Risky Play — The Strategies

Quality Practices in Risky Play — On the Ground with Children

Through modelling thoughtful risk assessment, allowing gradual release of control/sharing knowledge and power around risk assessment, and co-creating boundaries with children, educators build trusting and communicative relationships which will hold space for the rich learning in risky play. This section explores strategies for supporting children on the land as risky play emerges.

The unpredictability of children’s outdoor play is the part that can surprise and delight us, and also challenge us. Playing alongside children on the land asks us to hold space for their ideas, exploration and experimentation. Holding space is about respecting their autonomy and dignity, while supporting them in staying safe and kind with each other. 

Concerns about liability and safety can lead us to shutting down risky play opportunities because co-creating safety guidelines with children can feel scary. Co-creating boundaries asks us to trust and stay fully present alongside children in play.