Providing opportunities to encounter and navigate appropriate levels of risk in play environments provides children with important skills. In the context of play, risk refers to opportunities children can easily assess and make decisions about. Hazard, on the other hand, refers to potentially dangerous conditions that are not easily assessable from the perspective of the child and that may lead to harm. Resources in this section will help you consider how to design play environments that include appropriate risk for different developmental ages and how to identify and remove hazards.
Play England promotes the right of children to play through a range of projects including playing in nature, street play and other innovative projects and ideas. The goal of Play England is to enable the whole country to protect a child’s right to play; to work to promote play; and work with others to provide opportunities across the country. Play England offers many examples of play projects and explanations of play workers or facilitators to encourage children’s play.
Rusty Keeler is a designer, author, and speaker with a unique sensitivity to the sights, sounds and experiences of childhood. For nearly 30 years Rusty has traveled the world designing natural outdoor play envirornments and speaking about the benefits and beauty of saying “yes” to children’s play. In his book Adevntures in Risky Play, Rusty encourages us to 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?
Alliance for Childhood
The mission of Alliance for Childhood is to build, strengthen and empower play networks to improve the lives of children. We envision a world in which stress is reduced in children through increased child-initiated and intrinsically motivated free play, reduced screen time and high stakes testing, andincreased open-ended, active play opportunities.