Risk Taking in Early Childhood: Definition, Benefits & Tips

Building comfort with taking risks is an important part of early childhood development.

Encouraging young children to engage in activities that involve uncertainty and challenge cultivates resilience and enhances their cognitive and emotional development.

In this article, we will figure out what risk-taking is in education, its benefits, and useful tips for supporting children in taking risks safely in education.

What is Risk Taking in Education?

Risk taking in education is defined as students participating in activities with an uncertain outcome, allows children to experiment and explore their surroundings, resembling a scientific investigation to experience personal growth.

Risk-taking in early childhood can manifest in various ways and is shaped by individual beliefs. Parental perceptions of challenging behaviour significantly influence educators’ decisions to offer safe opportunities for outdoor play.

Encouraging students to explore new, diverse, and sometimes uncomfortable ideas is important for developing a critical understanding of the world and forming their own values and beliefs.

Benefits of Engaging in Safe Risk-Taking in Education

Engaging in safe risk taking activities in education offers numerous benefits for children’s development and learning.

Benefits of Engaging in Safe Risk-Taking in Education

These benefits of risk taking in early childhood extend beyond physical skills to encompass cognitive, social, and emotional growth, including:

  • Developing resilience: Safe risks build resilience by helping children persevere through challenges and setbacks, fostering adaptability and confidence in facing difficulties.
  • Enhancing executive functioning skills: Safe risks stimulate decision-making, problem-solving, and self-regulation, laying a foundation for effective executive functioning in diverse contexts.
  • Building self-confidence: Conquering safe risks boosts children’s self-esteem and belief in their abilities, empowering them to tackle new challenges confidently.
  • Improving risk-assessment Abilities: Safe risks enable children to assess and manage risks effectively, enhancing safety awareness and equipping them with essential life skills.
  • Promoting self-awareness: Safe risks cultivate self-awareness as children learn their limits, strengths, and preferences, empowering them to make choices aligned with their abilities.
  • Encouraging creativity and inventiveness: Safe risks inspire curiosity, creativity, and innovative thinking as children explore new possibilities and solutions to challenges.
  • Supporting motor skills development: Safe risks promote motor skills development through active, movement-based play, enhancing strength, coordination, and balance.
  • Cultivating problem-solving skills: Safe risks foster critical thinking, adaptability, and collaboration, equipping children with essential problem-solving skills for navigating challenges.
  • Fostering social skills: Collaborative risk taking experiences cultivate cooperation, communication, and empathy, strengthen social bonds and promote teamwork.
  • Enhancing enjoyment and exhilaration: Safe risks create excitement and satisfaction as children push their boundaries, fostering a lifelong love of exploration and discovery.

UNIS Hanoi offers diverse programmes promoting risk taking education while prioritising student well-being and community engagement. These initiatives cater to various age groups and encompass experiential learning, wellness support, and community involvement.

Here are three key programmes offered by UNIS Hanoi:

1. Summer Programme 2024:

Benefits of Engaging in Safe Risk-Taking in Education
  • The Summer Programme provides an enriching activity-based experience for children aged 3 to 15, fostering exploration and learning in a fully English-speaking environment.
  • Participants engage in diverse activities, from creative arts to sports, facilitated by highly qualified teachers with expertise in their fields.
  • Experiential learning opportunities encourage hands-on exploration and skill development, complemented by interactions with peers from diverse cultural backgrounds.

2. Wellness Programme:

Benefits of Engaging in Safe Risk-Taking in Education
  • UNIS Hanoi prioritises student health and well-being through on-campus services, including the School Health Centre staffed by qualified nurses.
  • Measures such as air filtration systems and campus-wide disinfection protocols ensure a safe and healthy environment for learning.
  • The caterers offer nutritious meals and promote healthy eating habits, contributing to overall well-being and academic success.

3. Volunteers:

Benefits of Engaging in Safe Risk-Taking in Education
  • The School Community Organisation (SCO) facilitates community-building and supports the well-being of students, parents, faculty, and staff.
  • Parents automatically become SCO members upon enrolling their children at UNIS Hanoi, contributing to a welcoming and supportive school community.
  • The SCO organises events and fundraisers to benefit the school community and promotes volunteerism across various school activities and initiatives.

Tips for Supporting Children in Taking Risks

Encouraging children to take risks is vital for their development, fostering resilience, independence, and problem-solving skills. Here are 11 tips to support children in taking risks effectively:

1. Teach kids that taking a risk is a positive thing: Encourage children to view risk taking in early childhood positively by modelling adventurous behaviour and expressing enthusiasm for their efforts.

  • Example: Join your child in trying a new activity like rock climbing, demonstrating excitement and confidence.

2. Enhance the outdoor space with movable equipment for safe challenges: Enhance outdoor spaces with movable equipment for safe challenges, providing opportunities for physical exploration.

  • Example: Set up a soft play area with cushions and mats where children can safely climb and jump, ensuring potential hazards are removed.

3. Promote youth club participation and safe spaces: Advocate for safe spaces like youth clubs where children can explore risks under supervision.

  • Example: Support initiatives to keep youth clubs open during holidays, providing structured activities and a supportive environment.

4. Facilitate diverse cultural and heritage experiences: Expose children to diverse cultural activities and heritage sites, promoting curiosity and appreciation for different traditions.

  • Example: Take children to museums or cultural festivals to learn about history and heritage engagingly.

5. Support artistic expression and creativity: Encourage children to express themselves creatively through various artistic mediums, fostering imagination and self-expression.

  • Example: Provide art supplies and encourage children to create artwork expressing their unique perspectives and ideas.

6. Encourage active participation in sports and physical activities: Engage children in sports and physical activities to promote health and wellbeing while fostering teamwork and confidence.

  • Example: Enroll children in sports clubs or encourage them to participate in outdoor games and activities with friends.

7. Promote curiosity and exploration of nature: Encourage children to explore and interact with nature freely, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills.

  • Example: Provide loose materials like sticks and ropes for outdoor play, allowing children to build and experiment in natural environments.

8. Encourage participation in community events: Involve children in community events and activities to broaden their experiences and social connections.

  • Example: Attend local festivals or community gatherings, encouraging children to interact with others and participate in various activities.
Tips for Supporting Children in Taking Risks

9. Support risk assessment and management skills: Provide opportunities for children to assess and manage risks independently, building confidence and decision-making abilities.

  • Example: Create a safe environment for children to practice balance and coordination skills, offering guidance and support as needed.

10. Trust your children: Show confidence in children’s abilities to assess and manage risks, empowering them to take ownership of their decisions and actions.

  • Example: Allow children to try new activities independently, offering encouragement and support as they navigate challenges.

11. Ensure that an adult is on hand to provide supervision: Maintain adult supervision when children engage in risky activities, ensuring safety and providing assistance when necessary.

  • Example: Stay nearby to offer guidance and support as children explore new challenges, ready to intervene if needed to ensure their wellbeing.

Safety Taking Risk with UNIS Hanoi’s Programme

Encouraging comfort with risk taking in early childhood is pivotal for nurturing resilient and adaptable individuals.

By implementing tailored strategies, educators and caregivers can create an environment where children feel safe to explore and learn from uncertainty.

With a focus on holistic development, these efforts lay the foundation for lifelong learning and growth.

UNIS Hanoi provides innovative programmes that support children in embracing risk taking.

To learn more about UNIS Hanoi’s approach and to explore opportunities for your child to thrive, visit our website today and apply to our programmes!

Author Profile

UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Hanoi is ever-evolving, but one thing that remains is our passion to nurture and equip students to be agents of change for a better world.

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