“When he’s eight…”

This little intersection between my love of anthropology and playwork was published more than 6 years ago – and the interest in risky play has only grown!

This one short trip to the Gambia taught me so much, about humility and skills, about the ways play can bring us together and how our own assumptions hold us apart.

It also provided the indelible image of several children setting off to hunt wild boars with knives, and of them returning home with meat, singing.

Play Everything

Risky play is big right now.  Play England’s Managing Risk in Play Provision is highlighting best practice and part of a rise in public and practitioner interest on the subject – all sorts of people are asking, what do we allow on site, how and why?  Children need risk in their play, need to be able to learn how to conduct their own assessments, but how can we support them in this process without becoming negligent?  If Adventure Playgrounds are supposed to be places where children can climb trees, have fires and build hideouts, why have so many playworkers succumbed to the same Health and Safety anxiety as everyone else?

I’ve made arguments before for more talk about emotional or social risk, and will be speaking at Islington Council’s Risky Play Conference next Wednesday about the need for a fully inclusive framework for risky play provision.  I’ve had some training…

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