Adventure Play

This is a very false category since most of a child’s activities, such as finding out, playing an imaginative game, trying new things, learning new skills are an adventure for him. Children gain physically and mentally from overcoming their environment and their delight in climbing, crawling, jumping and balancing is mirrored by their increasing self-confidence. Most outdoor activities and physical activities encourage children to be more adventurous than they can be indoors. Country living used to provide all kinds of exciting things to do – trees to climb, brooks to jump over, stepping stones to balance on. Often the country child of today is no better off in this respect than his town counterpart so for most children any adventure equipment has to be provided. Swings, climbing frames, seesaws, barrels to roll in, large equipment to push, pull and lug about can all be bought but it is not always possible to provide these in the home. This is another advantage of nursery groups. They have the space and the resources to provide a much wider range of equipment which can thus cover a wider span of age and stage.

The role of the adult in this kind of play is to try to provide challenges which are suitable – children should not become dis-couraged by the obstacles being too difficult, or bored by them being too easy – and to give sensible encouragement rather than help. Obviously there is a need for adults to make sure that equipment is safe and kept in good condition. It is possible with a little thought and ingenuity to provide quite well for adventure play. Sometimes the children themselves provide ideas which can be furthered by an adult’s efforts.