Resources to Promote Risk-Taking and Confidence in Children
Risk-takers seek new ideas, make good decisions and communicate their opinions. These picture books and resources foster confidence in children by facing unfamiliar situations with confidence and standing up for their beliefs.
Risk-Taking and Trying Something New
What is a risk-taker and how can we help our students take appropriate risks? According to the IB, risk-taking students “approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; [they] work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. [They] are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.”
Risk-taking and trying something new is a daunting prospect for many children. These resources focus on promoting confidence in children and for them to understand they are not alone in their anxieties. On the other hand, we want those children who take dangerous risks to understand the balance of being more mindful before taking negative risks.
All your students will seek risk in different ways and at different levels. A classroom is a safe place for them to experiment with taking safe risks without any judgement.
Check out the post 28 of the Best Books about Confidence and Risk-Taking for a wonderful selection of picture books.
Characteristics of a Responsible Risk-Taker
We can also be on the lookout for risk-taker traits in our students. The characteristics, which will exhibit in different ways depending on their age, include:
- challenging their own fear to take a risk
- trying something new despite their fears
- making new friends
- showing curiosity
- reflecting on how it felt to try something new
- experimenting with solving problems in different ways
- wanting to try new things despite any fears
- stepping into the unknown
- confronting difficult situations
- standing up for their beliefs
- exploring new environments and ideas
Key Benefits of Being a Responsible Risk-Taker
Here are some of the key benefits for those children who take responsible risks.
- builds resilience and persistence
- understand their potential and ability
- makes appropriate judgement
- understand there are positive and negative consequences to their action
- develops independence and confidence in children
- develops resourceful and creative
- increases curiosity and problem-solving skills
- makes responsible choices
- interpersonal and collaboration skills
Teaching Resources for Promoting Confidence in Children
Below you will find resources to support your students in taking risks and trying something new. There are picture books full of confident characters, short videos, online resources and questions to ask about risk-taking.
Risk-Taking & Confidence Books
This selection of books relates to responsible risk-taking and developing confidence in children. Click on the book cover for a synopsis and related online resources. Visit 28 of the Best Books about Confidence and Risk-Taking for more recommended risk-taking books.
Risk-Taking & Confidence Discussion Questions
- Describe how the characters in the book risk-takers.
- Were the characters brave enough to stand up for their beliefs? Why do you think they may have found this difficult?
- Is there a connection between [character’s] risk-taking and their creativity? Explain.
- How would you have handled this situation?
- How do you know [character] was taking a risk?
- Was [character’s] risk-taking positive or negative? Explain.
- As a class, did you have different views or perspectives on [character] risk-taking? Why do you think this is the case?
- Will the [character] find this situation easier next time? Why?
Risk-Taking & Confidence Online Resources
- Bright Horizons: How Unstructured Play Can Encourage Healthy Risk-Taking in Children
- Childline: Building Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Child Mind Institute: Confidence and Self-Esteem
- The Conversation: Why kids need risk, fear and excitement in play
- Edutopia: A Classroom Full of Risk Takers
- IB Community Blog: Risk-taking: What does it mean to you?
- The Independent Psychologist Says Parents Should Do These 18 Things to Raise a More Confident Child
- Nursery World: Helping Children to Manage Risk
- Parents: 9 Secrets of Confident Kids
- PBS Parents: Raising a Courageous Five-Year-Old
- PBS Parents: Helping Your Five-Year-Old Develop Independence and Self-Confidence
- Psychology Today: Risk-Taking for Your Children: How Much is Enough?
- Psychology Today: Tips for raising a can-do kid
- TES: Pupils ‘remember risk-taking teachers’
- Islington CS: Keeping Safe and Managing Risk (sample packs and free resources)
- Metro Parent: 10 Risky Activities That Teach Positive Risk Taking Skills
- Teach Hub: Teaching Strategies to Build Student Confidence
- Teach Wire: It’s Time to Take Risks with your Lessons
- Teacher Toolkit: The Golden Lesson: Take A Risk
- Teaching Ideas: Developing Confidence Resources
Risk-Taking Discussion Videos
These short videos can be used as discussion starters for talking about risk-taking and confidence. Watch the video before playing them to your students. Some of them are simple while others are more complex
These resources are a wonderful way to promote risk-taking and confidence in children. They give you an opportunity to show your students they are not the only one who finds it hard to step into the unknown and try something new.
Remember to check out 28 of the Best Books about Confidence and Risk-Taking for more book suggestions.
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