An article in the Denver Business Journal called “Good risk, bad risk and how to tell the difference,” explains that “successful business owners or investors understand when to take a risk and how to balance that decision with the potential reward.” (Denver Business Journal, May 2, 2016)
It might just as well have been written for early childhood practitioners, since being able to do a risk-benefit analysis, especially when it comes to children’s outdoor play is an essential skill.
Rusty Keeler has written a book, Adventures in Risky Play, to help educators hone that skill. When it comes to deciding when to support children in trying something challenging or when it is necessary to put a stop to certain activities, Keeler says it gets easier with practice and reflection.
“The amazing thing is that once you cross the subtle line of allowing a little more risky play and see that everyone is ok, it becomes easier to do it again...And the more you do it and succeed, the less you have to hold your breath. The more you may be able to enjoy the play...Your job may have just become more fun.”
On Wednesday, February 10, Rusty Keeler, along with Nature Explore Education Specialist, Heather Fox, will be presenting a live online workshop session called “Assessing Appropriate Risk in Natural Outdoor Classrooms.” Learn more about group rates and registration details.
What is Your Yes?
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Adventures in Risky Play: What is Your Yes? goes to the heart of risk-taking and children. As educators working with young children, we all have boundaries and feelings around what risky play is allowed. Rusty Keeler invites us to examine the cage of boundaries that we have created for ourselves and our children. He challenges us to rattle our cage and discover where the lines are movable. In our role as educators and caretakers, when we allow children to play and confront risk on their own terms, we see them develop, hold their locus of control and make choices on how to navigate the bumpy terrain of a situation. What better teaching tool for life is there?
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