Practice makes perfect< Back
“Practice makes perfect!” – This saying is applicable in so many scenarios. When we consider how children manage risk to keep themselves safe then we need to think if practice does make perfect then how many opportunities are we providing for children to practice? There are many ways that this can be done where children are provided with experiences where risk is present. Our role is to minimise the risk through how we engage with the children, and we plan the experiences.
From our own childhood we know risky play was the best part of play! Holding on to the monkey bars until we were sure we would fall but still putting in every effort to get to the end – that is where we learnt persistence and problem solving. Including these opportunities for our children gives them the same growth, they can try and fail, climb, and fall while learning their own strength and capabilities.
While we talk about risky play let us think about trees, beautiful, large, leafy trees! So many benefits come from climbing trees but it is a part of play that has very quickly been removed from childhood due to the risks included, but there are so many life skills that come with climbing trees, appreciation for the world around us, physical activity that strengthens and engages muscles and emotional resilience as children try to climb and miss a branch and catch themselves – they practice the courage to go again.
At KinderPark we engage children in different parts of risky play, this can come from outdoor physical play or tools in the indoor environment. When we introduce risk, we consult our risk assessments and ensure that we teach. Then the children have the time to explore, we believe that giving the children the opportunity to discover on their own allows them to assess risk themselves.
We discuss over-restriction where children have opportunities to explore but our Co-workers over direct and guide, this can create more risk as children are not free to find their own comfort space with risk. Allowing children to identify risk and what risks they are comfortable taking with support from Co-workers rather than direction we see the children grow their lifelong learning journey with practice, while this may not make us all perfect it does allow us to feel comfortable with the perfect amount of risk – so let us all practice some risk together!
Antonette Neri – KinderPark Co-worker