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Summary


PRESCHOOL CHILDREN’S PREFERENCES TO TAKE RISKS IN OUTDOOR PLAY: TURKISH SAMPLE

The current research aims to investigate 60-66-month-old preschool children’s preferences for risky play. Qualitative research method was utilized and 100 preschool children enrolled in five different early childhood centers in Mersin were included in this research. For the purpose of gathering data, semi-structured interview questions were used by the researcher. The interview questions were accompanied a series of drawings, which are created with regard to the six categories of risk play. As data analysis process, children’s risky play preferences were calculated descriptively and the obtained frequency distributions were represented. Also, the reasons for children’s risky play preferences were examined by content analysis method. The findings of the research showed that children are not willing to engage in risky play. The most obvious reason why children do not prefer risky play was determined as children’s possibility of physical injury or harm. Children also indicated that they do not prefer to engage in risky play because of parental reactions. These findings were discussed with similar research findings; in particular, the effect of culture on individuals’ preferences for risky play. It is suggested that children’s risky play should be supported by preparing outdoor environments with optimum safety standards. Children should be encouraged to engage in risky play to get maximum benefit from such type of play. Lastly, the finding of the research suggested that in order to increase risky play opportunities for children, parents’ knowledge and awareness about how children’s risky play is important for their children’s learning and development should be increased.



Keywords

Risky play, risk-taking, risk-averse culture


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