Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2020


The focus of this school improvement plan was to explore existing research and data on the benefits and concerns present when allowing young children to play with toys and natural items in the outdoor environment that expose them to more risk. Based on that information, a plan was made to thoughtfully add some appropriate risky play elements to the outdoor playground at the Iowa State Child Development Laboratory School over the duration of one school year. By adding these elements, opportunities for growth of large motor skills and overall learning and development may occur. To assess growth, two assessment tools - the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) and Teaching Strategies Gold (TSG) - are completed once at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the year. The questions posed from adding more risk are as follows: Does the change in learning occur because of adding these opportunities for risky play? Does more risk create more injuries that are cause for concern or is it just part of the learning process?