“Risk”, a word associated with loss, injury and danger. These are not things we want to be associated with. Yet, at some point in our lives, we all take some risks in hope to achieve something better. Everyone’s appetite for risk is different and we make the decision based on what is at stake too. When it comes to our children, we do not want to put them near any of the words that are associated with the word ‘risk’. At the same time, taking risks is about learning how to weigh the merits and demerits of our actions. It is also about learning how to face the consequences of our actions and it helps to shape the boundaries of what we can do. This critical thinking process is something we would need all the time and is an important skill to have. Therefore, having opportunities for children to take risks, while in a safe environment, is an important part of their development.
For children, most of these risk-taking opportunities will be presented to them in the form of physical activity. One physical risk-taking activity would be climbing high. Even for toddlers, this is a task that they can perform. While babies are not born with the fear of heights, they start to be wary of height as they learn about their environment and how their movements interact with the environment. As they understand about the perception of depth and height and they start to be comfortable in their mobility, they will be trying to climb as part of the lead up to standing and walking. Ensure that the area that they are climbing is covered with soft mats or cushions and the heights are low. None of the climbing should lead them too high as they may still be learning how to climb down on their own so be mindful of that. At the playgroup age, they should only be climbing heights less than 1 m high. Constant supervision is required but give these young preschoolers the liberty to try. Getting minor cuts and bumps will be common. Preschoolers will be able to play at playgrounds where there will be climbing equipment like monkey bars or slides. These are all good equipment for them to play and practise their use of muscle strength and overall coordination of the body.
Another example of risk-taking opportunities can come in the form of independent use of tools. Use of scissors, knives and other common tools can be introduced even for playgroups. These tools may be seen as dangerous but they are actually commonly used by all adults and we want our children to also learn the correct way of using them. At playgroup age, we will want to begin with using tools that are child-safe, scissors and knives that can cut through things but will not cut through their fingers. For use of actual scissors and knives, this will be more applicable for the older preschoolers, at age 5 to 6, who have been constantly practising and have developed their gross and fine motor skills to use these tools appropriately. We can then allow them to use these tools independently under supervision.
As with adults, it is possible that your child may be on the side of those who have a really small appetite for risk and show unwillingness to try. This is where role-modelling plays an important part in changing their mind. You could show it to them or you could do it together with them to make them open up a little and work towards taking their first step on their own next time. If the activity is too difficult for them or they find it difficult to try, you can lower the level of the task so it does not feel so daunting to them. When the risk-taking opportunities for them are paced to their developmental and comfort level, they will feel confident in accomplishing them and take bigger steps and bigger risks the next time. As much as there is some letting go of the rein in risk-taking activities, it does not mean that adults let go of them completely. It is still our responsibility to ensure that the environment that they are in is still safe. We may not be forcing our ideas on to them, but we are there supervising their moves, to catch them when they fall.
There are many positives in providing risk-taking opportunities for children and they all go towards supporting the growth and the well-being of our children. As seen in the two examples above, risk-taking activities can help children with their physical development. It ranges from whole body coordination and muscles strengthening to fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Furthermore, children really enjoy having the chance to put their whole body to work. When they are given the time to do that, they will also be able to concentrate more when they are put back into the classroom setting. On top of that, the process of trying, failing and trying till they succeed is how they gain confidence and self-esteem. At the same time, when they keep failing but continue to try, they learn about patience and perseverance. They also learn about the sweet reward at the end of this seemingly never-ending pursuit. These soft skills will help them all the way to adulthood. In return for taking risks, they also learn about self-control and are able to regulate their actions better as they know where the danger lies. They gain understanding on what risks are possible for them to take and try and what risks will put them in more danger than good. This ensures that they do not go off the rails in future.
Being overprotective can be as harmful as being unconcerned. Knowing how to find the balance between them so that children can have the chance to try, make mistakes and learn from there, all while still being safe from the real danger, is what both teachers and parents need.
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As one of the best childcare Tampines, Genesis Childcare 1989 provides a comfortable, clean, well-ventilated and conducive learning environment for your child to learn, explore, discover and be creative. Our Preschool Tampines have over 30 years of experience in caring for your beloved child. At our Tampines Childcare, we advocate that every child is unique and precious who needs to be loved and cherished.
As a leading early childhood centre in Singapore since 1989, we are committed to nurturing our early learners holistically through various learning areas and positive learning dispositions. We place a strong emphasis on the way our teachers facilitate and interact with the children.
Check out our Tampines childcare parent’s testimonials regarding the care that parents’ children have received at our Tampines childcare centre.
The children in our Tampines childcare get to learn English, Chinese, Maths, Science, Music and Movement, Arts, Outdoor Play and cookery lessons. Our Childcare Tampines also provides balanced and nutritious meals for the children and helps the children to cultivate healthy eating habits.
Our professional team of preschool teachers has a good understanding of child development and learning principles. We apply them efficiently and set the stage to create a meaningful learning experience that supports your child's discovery.
We consistently create a positive and cozy environment that will give your child a sense of security which builds their self-confidence to explore the world around them.
Located alongside our childcare in Tampines is our Nurture Infant House. If you are looking for Tampines infant care or infant care in Tampines, do visit Nurture Infant House. It is for infants aged 2 months to 18 months old. You can learn more about our infant care Tampines here.
Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 S(520433)
Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 S(520433)
Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)
Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293