Today I took a phone call from a television news channel asking me to comment on this Youtube video.
The clip is not for the faint-hearted. It shows 22-year-old James Kingston climbing up a tower crane in Southampton, then hanging by one hand off one of the crane’s bars, with a 250 foot drop beneath him. The reporter wanted me to condemn Kingston’s actions as likely to encourage copycat behaviour and put children at risk. The call made me think: what is going on when children or young people carry out acts of extreme danger, and how should we respond?
Today the National Trust’s Outdoor Nation website posted a piece from me that aims to win parents over to the goal of expanding children’s horizons. I had to think carefully when writing it.
Here’s a seasonal activity for you, with a hint – or more than a hint – of adventure: leaf-pile-diving.
Posted in Learning, Nature, Outdoor play, Risk
Tagged adventure, autumn, deep play, freedom, nature, nature play, Risk, video
I hereby invite you to stop whatever it is that you’re doing, and enjoy 2’46” of pure, unadulterated fun. Here is a video of a group of teenage boys making the most of a forest lakeside spot in New South Wales.
Posted in Nature, Outdoor play, Risk
Tagged adventure, Australia, deep play, exploration, freedom, Risk, video, water, wild swimming
This image is from an exhibition of photographs taken by children who attend C & K Kindergartens. It was on display at C & K’s annual conference in Brisbane last weekend. Here is what first Jake, then his parent, say about the photo.
'Witness Board', Jane Millar
If we reflect on how we think about risk in our day-to-day lives, many would agree that we tend to focus too much on the negatives – the what ifs, the worst case scenarios, the horror stories – and not enough on the positives. We know that nothing grabs our attention quite like fear. (So does the media, of course.) This bias makes it very hard for us to take a balanced approach to risk. Here’s one reason why.
Of course some still do. Take the group of boys from Raleigh, North Carolina captured in this slide show.
Posted in Nature, Outdoor play, Parenting, Risk
Tagged adventure, benign neglect, den-building, exploration, freedom, nature, parenting, Risk, USA, video, water