Affordances for 1- to 3-year-olds’ risky play in Early Childhood Education and Care
This article focuses on how Early Childhood Education and Care institutions provide for 1- to 3-yearolds’ risky play—a previously little researched topic—utilizing data from an exploratory, small-scale study investigating aspects of risky play in the age-group. The main findings describe how three essentially different Early Childhood Education and Care centers provide different opportunities for risky play. These environments are assessed with the theoretical concept of affordance and suggest that versatile, flexible, and complex environments and equipment—with little objective risk—are optimal for children’s risky play in this age-group. Being a new topic, the affordance assessment is discussed in relation to a standardized measurement, the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating Scale—Revised edition. Findings indicate that the two approaches partly coincide but also that there are discrepancies. Interpretations and implications are discussed.