Rusty Keeler, author and play advocate, has written an inspiring new book, Adventures in Risky Play: What is Your Yes? The premise of the book couldn’t be more relevant for today’s world: Our children need to explore the world of play (especially the natural world) in a way that allows them to take appropriate risks and develop self-confidence and problem-solving abilities. Here’s how the author describes children’s need for authentic, empowering play:
“Friendships are made, imaginary worlds created. Information is processed, skills develop. Laughter, tears, emotions, ideas… through play, a child explores what it is like to be human on our planet. The development of our species, the future adults and leaders of our world, all pass through the portal of a childhood that can create and lift who they are and who they become through the spirit and drive for play. We are wired for it. We are who we are because of how we played. And where we played. And with whom we played. What some disregard simply as ‘child’s play’ are actually some of the most important moments any of us will ever experience as we take this journey of life.”
What is Your Yes?
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Adventures in Risky Play: What is Your Yes? goes to the heart of risk-taking and children. As educators working with young children, we all have boundaries and feelings around what risky play is allowed. Rusty Keeler invites us to examine the cage of boundaries that we have created for ourselves and our children. He challenges us to rattle our cage and discover where the lines are movable. In our role as educators and caretakers, when we allow children to play and confront risk on their own terms, we see them develop, hold their locus of control and make choices on how to navigate the bumpy terrain of a situation. What better teaching tool for life is there?
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