The other day I was booked to run a junk and nature session by a council down south by the sea. The liaison said the council wanted something engaging while being able to wash their hands of any risks associated with risky play (by risky play, I mean ‘fun’ play). The aversion to risk got us chatting. The Liaison (lets call her Ms T) said she let her own kids engage in risky play. When they were very little, they could play at the skate park testing their skills on the concrete ramps, and steel rails, however, the glares and whispered comments regarding the ‘neglectful’ mum sometimes got too much, and Ms T would hand the duties over to her husband. Ms T observed, the husband never got that response from the community (maybe he didn’t notice it because he was a man 😊 )
Do community values regarding risky play influence the parents who want their children to have the best learning experiences? I know Ms T still lets her kids take risk, it’s just, sometimes she is a little more covert about it. While we were having this chat, a bunch of older kids (free of adult supervision) grabbed one of my blue barrels, and after a little bit of unmanned testing, finally took the plunge and rode the skate ramp Niagara falls style. It seems kids don’t care too much what the general community feels about risky play.