How Much Structure is Too Much?
Different philosophies: some people give their children a lot of structure in playtime; others leave it up to the children to develop their own structures.
Problems: Too much structure can stifle creativity in children, because they aren’t able to step outside the imposed boundaries to create their own play opportunities. Too little structure can be dangerous; children don’t understand the dangers as well as adults do, and they can easily get into life-threatening situations without meaning to. Children who never have the chance to make mistakes never get to learn on their own and figure out how to transform an accident into a learning experience; but you also don’t want them suffering serious injuries that might have major repercussions on their general state of health.
Solution: balance ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’ to provide children with a safe environment in which they can play however they like.
How to create a safe environment
When you’re buying toys – especially online – check that they meet Australian standards for the age group(s) of the children who’ll be using them. A surprising number of imported toys fail these standards every year. https://www.productsafety.gov.au/product-safety-laws/safety-standards-bans/mandatory-standards
Use a home safety checklist to audit the safety levels around your home. Check for common issues that could cause unnecessary or severe injuries. https://www.kidsafeqld.com.au/images/stories/2016/KID0116-2016HomeSafetyChecklist_CMYK_4PP_WEB.pdf
Teach your children that sometimes play isn’t appropriate. In car parks and near roads, for example, they need to stay close to adults and respond quickly to any requests. Many parents use a ‘safe spot’ sticker on their car, so that children have a place to wait, safely, while adults are gathering needed items for an outing. This can be especially important in driveways, where kids will often be more relaxed and prone to running around. Check that children are not outside near the driveway when you’re reversing a car, as reverse parking cameras don’t always pick up children. http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/business/niki-burton-came-up-with-the-safe-spot-sticker-in-an-epiphany-moment-and-just-knew-it-would-work/news-story/599414b1142b2364ead358a14bad8639
Supervise children when they’re playing in and around water. The situation can change quickly from ‘fun’ to ‘dangerous’ around water, particularly if a child falls awkwardly, hits their head, or panics. Teach your children about water safety – Kids Health have a good guide for children http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/swim.html – and learn how to resuscitate children if an accident does occur.
Here at Coomera Clubhouse
Here at the Clubhouse we manage safety while allowing children the space to explore their creativity by having children grouped into different age groups. Each group has their own area set up specifically for them to ensure the highest standards of safety are adhered to every day.
Not only is your child supported, safe and able to thrive – but you as a parent become instantly connected into and supported by a community network of parents, teachers, and professionals, all here for one purpose – to help your family thrive.
Our environment is based on three core pillars, Nurture, Safety, and Creativity
Talk to us about how we can help your family.