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ERIC Number: EJ908424
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-1350-293X
Risk, Challenge and Safety: Implications for Play Quality and Playground Design
Little, Helen; Eager, David
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, v18 n4 p497-513 Dec 2010
In many countries playground design is driven more by safety than developmental benefits. As risk minimisation strategies become more stringent, many researchers and practitioners are questioning whether young children are able to take sufficient risks in play in order for their play experiences to be interesting and developmentally challenging. This study examined the outdoor play choices and risk-taking behaviour of 38 children (25 boys, 13 girls) aged between 48 and 64 months from Sydney, Australia. Semi-structured interviews examined children's play preferences and playground equipment usage. Observations of play explored engagement in risk-taking behaviour. Selection of equipment indicated a strong preference for challenge and excitement. However, the dominant observed play behaviours involved little risk suggesting equipment at these parks provided few opportunities to practice mastery of skills already in their behavioural repertoire, learning new skills or building on current capabilities. The findings have implications for play provision and playground design. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia