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Making Risk Relevant

As previously explored, risk is determined in a variety of ways and any type of risk should be relative to your children’s interests. It is important to include these interests into daily practice. However understandably with the under twos it is not always easy to establish interests without language. Therefore; we have deciphered our own theory on interests and fascinations. We looked at whether it was possible to have a solid interest in something that they did not fully understand? Or we did not understand? Are interests over-rated!? I just said it our loud! Are there other possibilities to challenge children under 2? Are you always stuck on ideas to move forward babies’ interests when planning? Is this all just being over thought…here’s my opinion...?


In a nutshell..


Flour? Can we honestly say a baby has an interest in flour? Do they know what it is? How its used? – probably not? 

Are they fascinated by this? Because they have never seen it before? Because it feels soft, cold, nice? Unpleasant? It causes effects when hands are moved through it?? It smells different? Its right in front of me? It’s on the lightbox that I like? All these several reasons can show how young children can be fascinated by new provocations. 

How are we measuring these interests/ fascinations? Do we know a baby “likes” something because they’re smiling (could it be a thought that’s making them smile? Wind? Their peer?). We LOVE to explore with and alongside the children; observing what they are accessing, moving the resources into various positions and spaces, removing or adding resources – are these factors that create interests? Testing theories and creating predictions – a bit of trial and error? Babies and young children can be so fascinating to watch… theorise and create little experiments with? Often you may not the find the answers, but the journey can be amazing! 

Think about yourself in this situation, what are you interested in? what do you love?? I mean I love pizza! However, when I see something that’s a bit sparkly it catches my eye, I’ve never seen it before – it fascinates me! I don’t seek them out…they find me! 

How can you make risk relevant to your setting- your environment and more importantly your attitude and mindset? It’s so easy to look at Pinterest and recreate something at your setting...I’m not saying we don’t occasionally have a cheeky glance, but let’s try to use it to be more relative to our own practice making it relevant to you and your children? Firstly, what kind of risk are we exploring and what do we need to do to enhance or compliment this? 

So here’s our task for you – take each of your key children, take the time to intently watch them, what do you think their interests or fascinations are – why do you think that – could you be wrong? What else could it be – strip it back – test it out. For example, a child you think likes custard play and that is their interest – is it? Could it be stripped back to basics – could it be mark making, textures, food, the feeling on their fingers – or is it in fact the custard – could you try different coloured custard? Is this a risk for the child who has been very confident playing with ‘normal’ custard? This thought process should be applied within your general practice and it will aid your risk taking experience and confidence tremendously!

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