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The Value of Risk
March 16, 2015
Age seldom arrives smoothly or quickly. It's more often a succession of jerks.
-Jean Rhys

In the introduction of her article, "The Role of Risk in Play and Learning," in the Community Playthings online magazine, Collage, Joan Almon observes...

"Real play means taking risks — physical, social, and even cognitive.  Children are constantly trying out new things and learning a great deal in the process.  They love to move from adventure to adventure.  They face the risk of mistakes and even of injuries, but that does not deter children.  They embrace life, play, and risk with gusto, and they are prepared for a certain amount of bumps and bruises while growing up.  Even a broken bone doesn't slow them down for long.  Fortunately, they heal fast.

"Although no one wants to see a child injured, creating an environment that is overly safe creates a different kind of danger for them.  Growing up in a risk-averse society, such as we currently have, means children are not able to practice risk-assessment, which enables them to match their skills with the demands of the environment.  As a result, many children have become very timid and are reluctant to take risks.  At the opposite extreme, many have difficulty reading the situations they face and take foolhardy risks, repeatedly landing in trouble."

Loose Parts

Loose parts are natural or synthetic, found, bought, or upcycled materials — acorns, hardware, stones, aluminum foil, fabric scraps, for example — that children can move, manipulate, control, and change within their play.  Loose parts are alluring and beautiful.  They capture children's curiosity, give free reign to their imagination, and encourage creativity.

With more than 550 color photographs of many kinds of loose parts in real early childhood settings, classroom stories, and a dynamic overview, this book provides inspiration and information about the ways loose parts support open-ended learning, enhance play, and empower children.  With loose parts, the possibilities are endless.

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Comments (1)

Displaying 1 Comment
Lake County Forest Preserves
Libertyville, Illinois, United States
03/16/2015 07:41 am

I have found wonderful articles and resources at Exchange.

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