Associations between Children’s Risky Play and ECEC Outdoor Play Spaces and Materials
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). 2021, 18 (7). 10.3390/ijerph18073354
Children spend a large amount of time each day in early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions, and the ECEC play environments are important for children’s play opportunities. This includes children’s opportunities to engage in risky play. This study examined the relationship between the outdoor play environment and the occurrence of children’s risky play in ECEC institutions. Children (n = 80) were observed in two-minute sequences during periods of the day when they were free to choose what to do. The data consists of 935 randomly recorded two-minute videos, which were coded second by second for several categories of risky play as well as where and with what materials the play occurred. Results revealed that risky play (all categories in total) was positively associated with fixed equipment for functional play, nature and other fixed structures, while analysis of play materials showed that risky play was positively associated with wheeled toys. The results can support practitioners in developing their outdoor areas to provide varied and exciting play opportunities.