At Jack in the box we follow the Birth to five matters curriculum, whilst at nursery children engage in a range of different activities to encourage their learning and development, these activities include risky play opportunities. Play is essential for children's development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. Risky play involves children experimenting and investigating to see what might happen, without knowing what the outcome may be. It is about being prepared to have a go at something, being adventurous and gaining new experiences. Play is open ended and flexible, children can explore and experiment with confidence, take risks and challenge themselves at the limits of their capabilities without fear of failure. Risk is not just about physical risks, although these are the worrying ones for parents/carers, children can also take social risks for example, when joining in with a new game and forming new relationships. Providing opportunities for children to engage in risky play can develop a child's self-confidence, resilience, executive functioning abilities and risk-management skills. In addition to this, risky play is thrilling and exciting, it has risk of physical injury, it's challenging, tests limits and helps children to establish boundaries. It could be climbing, sliding, balancing, jumping and hanging, rolling or using potentially dangerous tools. This can be broken down as: Playing at rapid speeds- swinging, sliding, riding on something with wheels, anything to get the thrill of speed. Dangerous tools- this may be knives, saws, drills, hammers, other tools. This is about the control of something that is dangerous and the excitement of feeling trusted. Dangerous elements- this includes fire, water, the danger is fun. Rough and tumble- Children tend to prefer being chased or in a vulnerable position when playing rough and tumble- all the better as this is harder to overcome and involves the most risk. Great heights- climbing trees and on equipment, gives a feeling of achievement. Disappearing/getting lost- hide and seek gives children the temporary feeling of separation without any real danger of being forgotten. It is important to remember that children who have limited opportunities to play outdoors may lack a sense of danger. All activities are planned for in line with children's own interests and following the guidance of the Birth to five matters, they each have risk assessments carried out prior to the activity taking place. Adult's ensure children's safety whilst not unduly inhibiting their risk taking, during this play adults talk to children about simple rules for their safety. It is important to find the right balance ensuring that children are able to enjoy all of the benefits of risky play in early years without any serious injuries taking place. If you have any questions, worries or concerns about the activities children are participating in please do not hesitate to contact us.