We don’t allow children to climb trees…

I have published a new article together with my colleague Ole Johan Sando. It draws a rather negative picture of the development towards a more safety focused an restrictive perception of children’s play in Norwegian early childhood education and care institutions. This is what we are fighting against here in Norway. At the moment it is just a tendency, but we don’t want it to dominate the provision of play in our country!!

Click the link to access the article in the American Journal of Play, volum 8, no. 2: http://www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf-articles/8-2-article-we-dont-allow-children-to-climb-trees.pdf

Children’s experience of activities and participation and their subjective well-being in ECEC

Together with my colleague Monica Seland I have just published an article from the Children’s well-being and participation project. This article focuses on how their exeriences of activities and opportunity for participation in the ECEC daily life are related to their subjective well-being.

(click the picture to see where it can be found)

Artikkel WB

Great news!

I am so happy the share the news that today a Position Statement has been launched in Canada, that I have had the pleasure to be a part of developing! See the Position Statement here:


It is a part of the Canadian Report Card of this year!

The Position Statement is based in our work on two systematic reviews published in these two articles:

What is the Relationship between Risky Outdoor Play and Health in Children? A Systematic Review

What Is the Relationship between Outdoor Time and Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Physical Fitness in Children? A Systematic Review

…and a process paper describing the process of developing the Position Statement: Review: Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play

It is all open access, so enjoy reading!

This has been such an interesting collaboration for a foreigner like me in a Canadian context, – thanks to all my collaborators!

New article published

Preschool teachers’ perceptions of children’s rough-and-tumble play in indoor and outdoor environments

I am happy share with your the news about a new article that I have published together with my colleague Rune Storli. We have written about how Norwegian preschool teachers perceive children’s rough-and-tumble play in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Here is a link to the paper:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03004430.2015.1028394#

Here is the abstract:

This paper explores teacher-reported prevalence of rough-and-tumble play (R&T) in preschool and investigates how their restriction to such play varies in different play environments (indoor and outdoor). An electronic questionnaire exploring preschool teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding children’s dramatic play themes was conducted by 138 female Norwegian preschool teachers. The results show that the teacher-reported prevalence of nurture/care and house/family types of dramatic play is higher among girls than among boys, while superhero play, pretend fighting, chase games and protect/rescue play is more prevalent among boys than girls. The results also show that play-fighting and chase games are the dramatic play types most restricted by the preschool teachers, and that R&T play is significantly less restricted in outdoor environments compared to indoors. The results are discussed within a Norwegian early childhood education and care (ECEC) context and implications for ECEC practice are suggested.


Ellen Beate

Article in American Scouting Magazine

Today I will share a brief magazine article in the American Scouting Magazine that comments on my research (they have interviewed me).

“MOST ELEMENTS OF RISKY PLAY show up in Scouting in one form or another”

I hope the scouting movement will still be able to offer risky play for children for many, many years!

(Click the picture to see the article)


Have a nice and playful day!

Ellen Beate

Can child injury prevention include healthy risk promotion?

I want to call your attention to a recently published collection of papers that I have been part of writing. I was lucky to be invited to a symposium about risky play and children’s development that was held prior to the November 2013 Canadian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference in Montreal. As a result of this seminar the participants decided to write a paper accompanied by several short papers and see of we had any luck being published in an injury prevention academic journal. I am happy to share the final published paper with you all. I hope you find the content both inspiring and provoking! Make sure to click on the link “Supplementary data” on the right side of the web-page to access the short papers as well!

(Click the image for free access to the paper)


Enjoy the reading!

Ellen Beate

Teaching international students: Risky Play and Outdoor Life in ECEC settings

One of my really delightful teaching appointments is being a lecturer for international students visiting Queen Maud University College (QMUC) for five months. They are enrolled in a course called Outdoor Play and Learning in Norwegian Early Childhood Education (see study plan), and 10 ECTS of this study is the module Risky Play and Outdoor Life in ECEC settings. I teach this module together with my colleague, Trond Løge Hagen, and we try to do most of the teaching at QMUC’s farm, Frøset Farm, up in Trondheim city’s forest. We have recently had two long and wonderful days at Frøset Farm that I want to share with you all:

Day 1: Outdoor life – we first watched the price winning film Play Again about how today’s children are about to loose their close contact and ownership to nature, and then we discussed its content in the context of different cultures and traditions (Norwegian and the different countries from which the students come from). Then we prepared lunch over open fire outdoors and had further discussions. The last part of the day we taught the students how to build a nature playground with simple materials such as sisal ropes and branches.



Day 2: Risky play – we first watched the very thought provoking film The Lost Adventure of Childhood, and then discussed the pros and cons of children’s free play in general and risky play particularly, linking it to cultural differences and recent changes in the western society. Then the students all by themselves made a fire outdoors and prepared lunch. It was a cold day, and since we brought skates for everyone (from the storage at QMUC), we tested the somewhat risky ice at the lake Store Leirsjø (we had ropes and ski poles as safety). Great day!

2014-12-05 13.06.19 2014-12-05 13.06.00

I love my work!

Welcome to all international students out there who would like to join us!

Ellen Beate

My recently published book

In august I published a new book called “Vilt og farlig. Om barn og unges bevegelseslek” (English: Wild and dangerous. About children’s and youth’s physical active play”). The book was edited by me and Jens Ole Jensen from VIA University College in Aarhus, Denmark. Unfortunately for all English readers the book is only in Norwegian/Danish. The book is an anthology discussing children’s play that is risky, noisy and chaotic – and how this kind of play fascinates children and can be beneficial for their social, psychological and motor development. The chapters in the book present several examples, such as play in wild nature environments, rough and tumble play and play fighting, trampoline play, circus activities, parkour etc., and also dicuss how teaching practice can support this kinds of play without compromising safety. Several experts within the field have contributed with chapterts in this book.

omsl.Syk av sukker