Rough rocks, creepy spiders, fat toads, poky branches and don’t forget the occasional splinter. We as adults see danger more often than children do, and this fearlessness of your child is a valuable thing. We assess the risks.
Children take acceptable risks
Children let life run its course, often free from fears. In their daily life, they take risks in order to explore their own boundaries. This is something different to danger, because danger is an experience, an instinctive process. What one see’s as danger, the other might not. One child might consider jumping over a big puddle of water dangerous, while another child will jump the puddle without thinking twice. Playing outside happens to bring about risks.
Levi (4) falls of a tree trunk onto his knee. Big tears, pain and real blood.
Of course, this can happen to your son or daughter and we have thought about this. Risk is a different concept than danger, it is much more rational. It is about the calculation of the chance that something will happen and the possible consequences. Levi’s knee is healed after a few days. Nothing too serious, that is why we consider climbing and clambering on tree trunks an acceptable risk.
Supervision and good support
When we design our outdoor areas, and pick our outdoors play material, we make risks assessments. The GGD monitors structurally if the risks are assessed properly.
When we work with your child we will make daily risk assessments. We distinguish between (un) desirable and (un)acceptable risks. This differs for every child. You will not often hear us say: ‘Don’t do that, it is dangerous’. We want to teach children to trust themselves when assessing risks. We guide children in this; We teach your child to pay attention and to use their hands when they climb or ascend. And toads, spiders and other insects aren’t scary but can be very interesting.
A climbing and clambering game, which can cause a scraped knee, is an acceptable risk.
We watch your child; we help with assessing risks and offer a helping hand when something seems scarier than it is. Children develop by practicing, by trial and errors. They practice their motor skills as well as their own assessment skills, and will find alternatives if they really want to get somewhere. Pretty brilliant, that outside play.