Safe Risk- in Block Building

Safe Risk is Important for Children:  safe risk quote

  • Allowing children to take risks develops their self-confidence, to plan, to solve problems, to engage their creativity, to be challenged and to use judgment.
  • Risk can include gross motor activities such as climbing on a jungle gym, using shovels in a dirt pile, building with large tree stumps or sensory activities such as touching the gooey insides of a pumpkin, walking in paint, or playing in the mud.
  • The teacher is the guide who provides an environment in which safe risk can occur, monitors children’s efforts and allows the child to do the work instead of stepping in with a “That’s not safe.”
  • Yes, we need to manage the risk; we stay close, but we allow the child to experience that joy of accomplishment or be able to determine how to do it differently the next time.

Block Building:high block structure

Staying safe while building high:

  • Place a hula hoop around the block structure so that other students are a safe distance while also allowing the opportunity to develop skills of balance.
  • Provide softer materials instead of wooden blocks such as plastic cups, cardboard blocks, plastic food containers such as lemonade cylinders, lunchmeat containers, and toilet paper rolls. building with cups


In what ways do you encourage children to take risks to become problem-solvers, inventors, and resourceful individuals in your classroom?


Author: DHonegger

Debra S. Honegger has worked in multiple areas of education- both general education and special education- as teacher, consultant, administrator and instructional coach- with ages from birth through adult. However, no matter where she is or what her title, she holds a firm belief in meeting the needs of each individual child while coming together as a community of learners.

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