Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Can A Playground Be Too Safe?

Making things too safe for children doesn’t help them in learning how to conquer fears and learning mastery. I found it interesting that a fear of heights is reduced by falling as a child.

While a youthful zest for exploring heights might not seem adaptive — why would natural selection favor children who risk death before they have a chance to reproduce? — the dangers seemed to be outweighed by the benefits of conquering fear and developing a sense of mastery.”

Dr. Sandseter identified six categories of risky play: exploring heights, experiencing high speed, handling dangerous tools, being near dangerous elements (like water or fire), rough-and-tumble play (like wrestling), and wandering alone away from adult supervision. The most common is climbing heights.”

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