Corvus Design Blog

June 17, 2010

The Power of Tinkering and Risk

Gever Tulley, founder of The Tinkering School, presents two short lectures on imaginative play, creative problem solving, collaboration, risk, and 5 dangerous things for kids to do.

Tulley, the author of, Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) is trying to encourage society to revisit the curious and adventurous nature of our childhood, and loosen the tight grasp we have placed on risk mitigation in play and development.  While overprotective parenting is a personal scale issue, society as a  whole has become obsessed with limiting exposure to both risk and hazard in the playscape, which can promote debilitating side effects.  Don’t we all learn some of the most enduring lessons from close calls, near misses, burns, heartbreaks, and meltdowns? It’s messy stuff – why should we stifle the curious mind and provide false senses of safety and ease?  Shouldn’t we be encouraging the exposure to self taught risk management and personal limits and boundaries?

It’s important for us to remember that there is a difference between hazards and risks. We should avoid hazards, but the opportunity to experience risk should be provided. Developing an ability to contemplate and assess risk is important to our development, and to prepare us for life. Potential risks, and the feedback we receive from attempting risky things, is something of which children are being deprived.