For children to learn to assess and manage risk takes practice. Sometimes that
practice comes with a pinched toe or a bumped head. The pinch and the bump
are part of the learning process. If we try to avoid all the potential pinches and
bumps, then we steal the learning opportunities that come with them, and
we prevent kids from developing their confidence, knowledge of the world,
self-awareness, and other beneficial skills.
Can I make changes to the adventures that will allow kids who
have temperament or sensory issues to feel more comfortable
with the projects?
Of course. These projects are just a starting
point. We encourage you to customize them
to meet the needs of the kids in your care.
Knowing the kids well enough to understand
their unique needs is an important part of any
(un)curriculum. Sometimes a small change will
be enough—offering a child who does not like
noise a pair of ear plugs during loud play, or giv-
ing a long-handled spoon to a child with senso-
ry issues so he can stir the glop other kids are el-
bow deep in. Other times, children may choose
to opt out and watch from the sidelines. That
should be okay too.
Is it okay to substitute materials
when I don’t agree with the suggested
ones—food items that won’t be con-
sumed, for example?
Sure it is. We don’t want you to do anything
that you feel uncomfortable with. The projects
were all designed for flexibility.
How should I introduce the activities to the kids?
Here are some of our favorite ways to get going:
• Follow their lead.
Wait until the kids show an interest in a topic or an object that somehow re-
lates to the activity, and then use that as an opening to introduce the activity.