MTA takes the edge off risky play worry with carefully considered collection
Many early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are across the benefits of risky play for children. Allowing children to explore risky environments such as uneven surfaces, working with ceramics and glass, and experiencing fire and heights has been proven to boost important life and character skills including self-confidence, resilience, executive functioning abilities.
Despite the documented benefits of risky play, children’s health and safety is a paramount concern for providers and parents, and rightly so. How, then, can ECEC teams make sure their environments provide scope for risky play whilst maintaining the all important safety requirements of the National Quality Framework?
The team from MTA have compiled the following collection of resources to support services in this mission. The items shown below are a small highlight of the full collection of adventurous and risky play resources which are available on the MTA website.
For those services who are new to the world of bush or beach kindy, and all the risky play opportunities these natural environments provide, the Bush Kindergarten Starter Kit, designed for use by up to five children, gives children access to a wide range of tools and resources including safety vests, magnifiers, tape measures, gloves and more.
Suitable for use by children aged three years and over, the Kit contains real tools which are designed for smaller hands, but still contain parts which allow children to learn to manage elements of risk such as exposure to sharp objects or spring loaded tools.
The Bush Kindergarten Starter Kit could be supplemented by the 30 piece Risky Play Real Tools Kit, a classroom set of real life tools designed for use by children. The tools are smaller and have handles which ensure children can get a good grip to use the tools safely.
Containing short saws, hammers, files, screwdrivers, tape measures and more, the exact contents of the kit at point of sale may vary, with up to date information on current kit content available in the kit components tab.
For those services who are wanting to incorporate the visual and tactile fun that messy play can provide, the Mud Kitchens & Beyond Resource Book has been compiled to inspire messy and creative play, introducing different learning concepts for using outdoor mud kitchens, and 50 different activities for fun and messy play.
With activities designed for children of all ages, the book highlights different resources which can be used for each activity, an activity description, and anticipated learning results and outcomes.
To create a fun and engaging onsite play environment, services may choose the Quad Play Pod, a playground installation which includes pods, a slippery dip, a rope climber, tree caves, a tree root hiding nooks and more.
The Quad Play Pod offers an innovative solution for services who want to bridge the gap between permanent playgrounds and moveable play equipment. With the Aussie Play Pods design, there’s no need to dig up a play area or have specialised installers – the Pods system is 100 per cent modular, and able to be configured to meet the unique needs of each play space, as well as changing elements of the playground to ensure children are kept engaged.
Sticking with the play equipment theme, elements such as the Rugged Rocks Climber, Soft Fall Saver Mats and Nest Swing offer mobile resources which can be introduced into indoor or outdoor spaces to allow children to explore risky play elements such as slope and swing in a balanced and measured way.
Being aware of how their bodies move through space is an important component in the development of children’s vestibular systems. The vestibular system contributes to children’s balance and spatial orientation, and is the sensory system that provides the dominant input about movement and equilibrium.
Children need to develop their vestibular system in order to develop balance, coordination, eye control, attention, being secure with movement, and some aspects of language development.
Rounding out the MTA curated risky play collection is this Mindset Book Pack, which supplements children’s learning through risky play. The seven titles in the collection, such as After the Fall and Everyone Can Learn To Ride A Bicycle reinforce to children that it is okay to not succeed on the first try, and that failure and challenge can be viewed as opportunities rather than dead ends.
The stories promote the idea that persistence and learning from mistakes are valuable elements of lifelong learning and personal growth.
For more information about any of the products shown in the collection above, or anything else in the MTA range of products, please contact your local consultant, reach out to MTA by phone on 1800 251 497 or email [email protected]