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Help! Need your thoughts on risky play for my dissertation proposal

(54 Posts)
HoneyPablo Sat 08-Oct-11 09:22:47

I have to do a presentation on my dissertation proposal and would like to test the waters first.
What do you understand by the term 'risky play' and do you allow your children to engage in this type of play?
What would your reaction be if an early years setting allowed children to engage in this sort of play?

TreeHouses Sat 08-Oct-11 09:28:38

To me, risky play in an EY setting would probably mean a climbing frame.
Balance bikes, wobble boards perhaps?

TreeHouses Sat 08-Oct-11 09:30:35

Forgot to answer the next bit - I'd love them to be encouraged to play like that.

What is the dissertation?

HoneyPablo Sat 08-Oct-11 09:32:05

Thanks, TreeHouses
I am worried that my subject matter will make parents think we don't supervise their children properly.

purpleturtletoise Sat 08-Oct-11 09:32:42

DS2 went to pre-school and reception where there was a little wood/garden. They climbed trees in there. I think it's great.

HoneyPablo Sat 08-Oct-11 09:33:17

The dissertation is on how practitioners can be supported in allowing children to engage in risky play

CMOTdibbler Sat 08-Oct-11 09:34:55

Risky play - play where there is risk, and in which children need to learn the correct way to use the equipment and risk assess themselves.

DS's nursery had a construction area with big nails, hammers etc, and in reception he's started forest school where they light fires, saw, hammer, use knives. And his headmaster likes to see children climbing trees, so they learnt about climbing safely and looking at trees to see if they are safe.

I'm very much in favour of risky play

HoneyPablo Sat 08-Oct-11 09:36:56

All very positive so far, thank you!

StrangledPhantomoansatem Sat 08-Oct-11 09:37:09

Risky play would be climbing trees, using sharp stuff (e.g. tools), some periods of unsupervised play (not necessarily at the same time as the sharp stuff)

Stuff I used to do as a child!

I'm all for it. I think young children should be up trees, making risk assessments for themselves but I understand how difficult it is to provide this kind of play in a culture that can be quick to blame

TreeHouses Sat 08-Oct-11 09:37:39

There was a thread fairly recently about if we should allow children to take risks, and if risk was important to experience.

UmBongo Sat 08-Oct-11 09:37:40

My ds is always climbing things and from a very early age we have let him, and let him learn that not everything is safe to climb - obviously not letting huge furniture land on him though! As a result he is now 4.5 and confident about climbing even equipment at parks designed for much older kids.

If that is "Risky Play" then carry on! But for the more sensitive mothers you may need to re-think the title!

UmBongo Sat 08-Oct-11 09:39:11

(he also borrows dh's tools - sometimes with permission!!!!)

StrangledPhantomoansatem Sat 08-Oct-11 09:40:50

Yes, parents have to be fully on board. They either support the concept or go elsewhere. But you could use workshops, information leaflets, session participation etc to reassure them. Knowing about some of the research behind it would help too

HoneyPablo Sat 08-Oct-11 09:41:50

So it's good for boys, what about girls?

Hatwoman Sat 08-Oct-11 09:46:09

if you're associated with a univeristy in any way they will have an ethics committee and they will have rigorous requirements for research. who is the presentation for? tutors? or parents? if the former then, imho, you should show that you're aware of the need to comply with all univ ethical requirements? if the latter then i would have thought this whole issue would have already been discussed with tutors, iyswim.

pandorasbox21 Sat 08-Oct-11 09:46:14

Im a level 3 Forest School Leader and my 3 year old DD has been involved in all manner of Forest School activities. She is extremely confident with climbing or anything outdoors and I believe it is due to that.

purpleturtletoise Sat 08-Oct-11 09:47:00

That is an interesting question. In the same playground I witnessed a parent telling her DD to come down off some railings she was walking along, using the words, "You're not a boy". Inference being, it would have been fine for a boy to do it.

I have a DD, but she has just never been as interested in taking the risks - in fact, we have sometimes really pushed her to - but I suspect that in a pre-school environment, she would just have opted out. Hardly a scientific sample, though!

pandorasbox21 Sat 08-Oct-11 09:49:48

I work in early years and loads and loads of the girls take much bigger risks than the boys. I definitely dont think its a gender thing

purpleturtletoise Sat 08-Oct-11 09:51:30

Do you think parents have different attitudes to risk-taking in sons and daughters?

southeastastra Sat 08-Oct-11 09:53:14

pandora how to you train to be a forest school instructor <sorry for hijack!>

NormaStanleyFletcher Sat 08-Oct-11 09:53:18

My dd engages in risky play, so it is not just for boys. I hate any suggestion it should be. (though I do slightly shudder at the memory of her at age 3 climbing up a tree and onto the 7ft garden wall, I couldn't reach her and had to go dashing round the outside of the garden with some steps)

HoneyPablo Sat 08-Oct-11 09:53:59

hatwoman the presentation is for the tutors. I am planning on mentioning the ethics requirements. The title is very much a working title at the moment.
pandorasbox21 I love the idea of forest schools
purpletortoise how sad for the little girl in the playground

leftmydignityatthedoor Sat 08-Oct-11 09:54:15

Ds did climbing and hammering in nails etc at nursery - its great. His friend also had campfires and toasting marshmallows etc at a different nursery - great.

Dd is only 1 but I'd expect her to be offered the same opportunities.

festi Sat 08-Oct-11 09:55:17

Hatwoman OP is just testing reactions to her idea. not conducting her research on MN

southeastastra Sat 08-Oct-11 09:55:32

i also think risky play isn't encouraged (im my experience) once they reach primary school.

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