Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/wonder----nacc-newsletter-november-december-2012/5020897/The Joys of Appropriate Risk-Taking
This edition of Wonder explores one Universal Principle for Connecting the World’s Children with Nature:
We believe it is important for families and educators to support children’s appropriate risk-taking and exploration in nature.
(Find the complete list of principles in the Environmental Action Kit at
A question that more and more adults are asking, world-wide:
“Have we, in our well-meaning attempts to ‘keep our children safe’ inadvertently taken much of the joy of exploration and the thrill of appropriate risk-taking out of childhood?”
Have we inadvertently communicated to them that they are not capable of keeping themselves safe, of competently negotiating the world around them? Many writers and researchers believe so. The research section of the Environmental Action Kit includes the following summary of Joan Almon’s 2009 Exchange article, “Appropriate risk in outdoor play can minimize accidents.” Almon explains that people freely admit they are afraid of accidents in play and want to minimize risk. Yet playgrounds that offer genuine risk tend to have fewer accidents than traditional playgrounds. Almon writes:
“Give children real risk and they rise to it; they learn how to handle it. Give them sanitized play spaces, and children often are less conscious of ...