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Risk and Adventure in Early Years Outdoor Play

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.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Adventure, Why Risk?EarthWaterAirFireSeasonal ChangesHeuristic PlayNatural CreativityRisk and DangerConclusion: The Role of the AdultAppendix 1: Useful ResourcesAppendix 2: Curriculum Links

About the Author

Sara Knight is a teacher and Forest School leader. She contributes to the development Forest School in the UK, publishing academic papers and books on the subject, and is a keynote speaker at conferences worldwide. Since retiring as a University lecturer she continues to play in the woods and write about it.


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 * Educational Review * '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

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