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In this chapter we discuss and apply Sandseter's (2007, 2009a) concept of children's outdoor risky play and discuss its conditions in light of the need to provide children with both safety and challenges.
Decreased physical wellbeing, increased screen time and feeling disconnected are the most significant impacts of COVID-19 on primary school-aged children, according to a survey.
Two decades ago, a German project called, “Der Spielzeugfreie Kindergarten” (the nursery without toys) wanted to see what would happen if they took toys away from kindergartens. All toys from participating classrooms were removed for three months...
But the truth is that no-one benefits if children or their parents are under constant stress. This is why finding some space and time for unstructured, open-ended play is so important. Play can act as a release valve that allows children to feel a sense of their own agency, and to make some kind of sense of their experiences on their own terms, with adult concerns fading into the background.
Young people need opportunities to socialise and find their place in the world. Yet the opposite is happening in our public areas, which seem to be increasingly hostile to their presence...
Where there are children, there is play. It is a universal impulse, as old as humanity. Physical play, verbal play, friendship play, solitary play – it is the exercise of body and imagination, marked by humour, challenge, invention and exploration. As essential to childhood as food and drink.
Dr. June Factor
The Richmond Avenue Primary and Nursery School looked critically around their campus and set about, as one of them put it, 'bringing in risk'. Out went the plastic playhouses and in came the dicey stuff: stacks of two-by-fours, crates and loose bricks. The schoolyard got a mud pit, a tire swing, log stumps and workbenches with hammers and saws.