Of course, natural places can be hazardous; there are things that bite, scratch, sting, things that must not be eaten, trees and logs to fall off. Life is full of risks, and the best way to prepare children for life is to ensure that they understand how to judge risk for themselves, to develop as their own risk assessors. It helps that at Horsley Playgroup that we get to know the children really well and through knowing them we empower them - we can support their physical learning and their risk taking in individual and developmentally appropriate ways.
Professor Mike Kelly, public health director of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (N.I.C.E.) suggests “when we lift children off a piece of equipment, or reach for something for them, this can short-cut the process of finding the physical answer themselves and, therefore, limit their ability to physically problem solve and take calculated risks”.
At Horsley Playgroup we help children to think about keeping themselves safe in the park when using the park equipment like the swings and roundabout and keeping safe near cars. When playing in the wood we encourage children to think about and tackle inclines, banks and climbing trees safely and also what to do if they find rubbish and sharp objects.
“My child, he’s very active & there is always opportunity for this - soft play and slide indoors, lots of time outside”
“My child loves the creative, imaginative play and being outdoors. Love the forest, outdoor play and equipment”.
(Horsley Playgroup Parent & Carer Questionnaire July 2015)