Today one of the littles came up to me and said ” We made a trampoline. ” Hmm.. You did? What did you make it from ? She replied a board. I said ” does it bounce up and down ? ” She said , it does a little… come see.
As I walked to the other side of the play area that was out of my direct sight there was indeed a ” trampoline” made from a board that the children had propped on a stump and a trike. We have done this before with two stumps but not with an object that moves like a trike.
I looked and they all were so proud as they were perched across that board like little birds. I was torn about whether to let them continue or to have them move the trike. So , I engaged them in conversation about the risk and what might happen. One of the boys said ” we could prop a brick next to it. ” Good idea but still would not keep the board from moving.
I continued to watch. I ask ” Are you worried ? Are you concerned you might fall ? What will happen if the trike moves ?” They replied ” we will fall off one at a time.” and ” We will fall. ” Yes, you most surely will fall but how bad will it be. As I assessed I kept a hawk eye on the board. I wonder how bad it will be if the board falls ? Could someone break a leg ? There’s a concrete block.. lets move that and eliminate that danger. Tryston and Nathan worked together to move the cinder block.
They were learning so much and feeling so confident. The good things far outweighed the risk in my opinion. I let them continue but stayed close by.
We all lived to tell about it and there was no blood involved.
Why didI let them ?
In order for children to even know what a risk or danger is they have to experience it. By taking supervised risks the children gain confidence , coordination and become more aware of what their bodies are able to do. Studies actually have proven that children that are not allowed to take small risks are more accident prone later in life .
Another benefit of risk taking is the thought process that children have to go through to determine what is safe and what is not. As their teacher I guide them in thinking about what they are doing . I ask them what might happen ? What is your plan IF you fall ? This helps build the skills so that when they are alone the independent thinking kicks in and they make safer choices. That’s what we want, right ? What would the world be like if no one took risks? What would the world be like if everyone took risk but did not consider the consequences.
Remember they were perched on that board like birds on a wire ? Risk taking is easier in social settings . Would you agree ? Did you ever do something with a friend that you would NEVER do alone ? As children in preschool take small risks in a group with the teachers supervision they are learning how to use their assertive voice to say ” I am ok with doing this .. or I am not ! ” I noticed today that Molly was lining everyone up and telling them what to do on the board. There will always be a Molly. ( I say that with LOVE .. the world needs leaders! ) Thankfully Molly was being safe but what if she wasn’t ? We need to teach our littles to say ” No, that scares me ” or ” I don’t like it.”
Taking risks builds the confidence of our littles. When you look at the picture you see Malea’s arms raised high like a superhero before she jumps. To her that board was 6 feet high and she was soaring through the air. Don’t we want them all to soar ?
And there was amazing art made. Isn’t this mermaid by Mila gorgeous ?
We matched letters .
We made letters with bendy wire.