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What's the Risk of No Risk?

by Deb Curtis
March/April 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/whats-the-risk-of-no-risk/5019252/

The boys in this photo were engaged in a serious experiment. They were working together to figure out how to get the gray tub to slide straight down the roof of the house without tumbling over and bouncing off. Some of the boys climbed up to the top of the roof to balance the tub on a wooden plank. They tied a string to the tub and threw the string down to the boy at the bottom, who is pictured in the midst of trying out the experiment.

Study the story and photo above. If you were the adult on this playground and saw these four-, five- and six-year-old boys at play, what would your initial response be? Would you:

a) Stop them immediately because you think someone might get hurt?
b) Remind them of the rules about no climbing on the playhouse roof?
c) Ask them what interesting ideas they are up to and how you might help?
d) Other.

In the child care program where I worked for 10 years the staff had very different reactions to situations such as the one described here. A number of us were continually fearful that children would get hurt; others were concerned that if children didn’t learn to ...

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