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Risk & Adventure in Early Years Outdoor Play

Risk & Adventure in Early Years Outdoor Play
Learning from Forest Schools

March 2011 | 152 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Do you want to create exciting outdoor experiences for children? Are you looking for guidance on how to incorporate the wilder and riskier elements of outdoor play into your planning?

This book will give you the confidence to offer the children in your setting adventurous and challenging outdoor activities, as well as ways to utilise natural resources to their best advantage. There is clear, practical advice on what you need to do, which is underpinned by the theory that supports the benefits of this approach. Examples from settings are included, to illustrate best practice and to show how things can be achieved.

Issues considered include:

- being outside in 'bad' weather

- the importance of risk-taking

- the benefits of rough and tumble play

- observing and assessing children in this mode

- how these experiences improve children's learning

- explaining activities to parents, colleagues and managers

- ensuring health and safety requirements are met

- the role of the adult in facilitating these experiences.

Suitable for all students and practitioners working with young children from Birth to 8 , this book will not only give you ideas for outdoor play but also help you understand exactly what you are doing, why it is educationally sound and developmentally important for children, and where it connects with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in England, the Foundation Phase (FP) in Wales and the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland.

Sara Knight is an experienced early years educator and Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University. She is a trained Forest School practitioner and author of Forest Schools and Outdoor Learning in the Early Years.

Introduction: Why Adventure, Why Risk?
Seasonal Changes
Heuristic Play
Natural Creativity
Risk and Danger
Conclusion: The Role of the Adult
Appendix 1: Useful Resources
Appendix 2: Curriculum Links

'the book has considerable strengths as a resource for Early Years practitioners, and the staff of a setting could well use it to support the systematic development of their outdoor provision, discussing and using the activities and points for practice incorporated into each chapter'
- Valerie Huggins, Early Years

'Chapter 8 of this book is one of the most sensible pieces of writing I have read on risk assessment. Very well balanced, clear and concise advice when weighing up the benefits of learning with risk factors involved...The practical advice in this excellent book is underpinned by the latest theory that supports its use, and is further backed by real-life examples. With a further book on Forest Schools in the pipeline, the author is leading by example in the drive to get children and practitioners outdoors, enjoying the many benefits that nature brings' -
Early Years Educator

'I cannot imagine an author more qualified to write about outdoor play in the

early years...a clearly-written, well-structured book that is full of useful suggestions for activities, implications for practice, and sources for further reading. It is recommended in particular to practicing early years educators who would like to –

as the back cover implores us –“incorporate the wilder and riskier elements of outdoor play into their planning”'
-Educational Review

This is a clearly-written, well-structured book that is full of useful suggestions for activities, implications for practice, and sources for further reading.

Simon Beames
The University of Edinburgh
Educational Review

A well-structured easy read - very good introduction to the outdoor classroom and the learning opportunities for young children

Mrs Linda Mary Kerr
Education, Liverpool Hope University
September 30, 2019

This book is presented well and in a similar format we have come to know from Sarah Knight. It is structured clearly and supportive of outdoor play which is underpinned with theory. The risk assessment offers a common sense approach which supports self assessment. Overall a very good practical book with clear examples.

Miss Michelle Bramley
School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University
July 13, 2018

Links well to course content

Mrs Terrie Blaszczyk
Froebel College, Roehampton University
February 21, 2017

The perfect text to encourage early years, primary and forest school staff to consider the issue of risk.

Mrs Jo Fletcher-Saxon
Education , Ashton Sixth Form College
June 29, 2016

This book is clear and concise and offers students advice and ideas regarding how to create risk and adventure in their play experiences outdoors.

Miss Rebecca Elizabeth Pace
Health & Social Care, Walbottle Campus
September 3, 2015

This is a well illustrated book that carefully explores the elements of risk in outdoor play. The book includes a chapter on fire, this is a current topic of interest and relates well to Forest School Education. This chapter discusses the role fire plays in learning about the outdoors. This book would support those considering outdoor education or Forest School provision.

Miss Jackie Sumner
Childhood & Youth Studies, Edge Hill University
June 23, 2015

A well written text for both students and experienced practitioners.

June 12, 2015

Useful book for 3year undergraduate early years students

Miss Lorna Wardle
School of Education, Nottingham Trent University
June 12, 2015

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Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1