At Tiny Town we are big advocates of adventurous play (often referred to as “risk play”). This is a philosophy that embraces the benefits of positive risk-taking and providing children with opportunities to engage in risk-assessment. Risk assessment is not something we DO TO children rather it is a process we need to engage in WITH children.
Children are natural kinaesthetic learners. They learn through the movement and sensation of their bodies in three-dimensional space. Children are always looking for new ways to challenge themselves through movement. At Tiny Town, opportunities for challenging climbing, movement and adventurous play are embedded in the curriculum. We engage children in challenging their own limits, taking considered risks and understanding how to assess those risks while maintaining their own and other’s safety. Children are evolutionarily designed to teach themselves risk assessment.
Adventurous play has obvious benefits for children’s kineasthetic and vestibular development which relates to balance, coordination, sensory perception, gross and fine motor skills. Positive risk-taking also has enormous flow-on effects to children’s resilience, perseverance and self-belief.
Overcoming a fear, trying something because they have never done it before, or really pushing the limits of their ability. These are powerful emotions and ones we feel are the right of every child to experience.
“Preventing risk is not the job of adults; it is rather to help children learn to take risks with their eyes wide open. The only thing truly dangerous is not allowing them to learn to make these judgments for themselves in the first place!”
Teacher Tom – Woodland Park Cooperative School, Seattle, WA, USA