What is positive risk taking?

At Skylark Sports we believe that positive risk taking is an essential element of childhood, one that is often overlooked in an effort to keep kids safe. Children need daily opportunities to take reasonable risks and challenge themselves (both physically and mentally) because it helps them develop into happy, capable, resilient children.

While children are learning through risk taking we can help foster their independent thinking and self-reflection. We can encourage them to notice obstacles and barriers, and develop strategies to overcome them. Using phrases like ‘notice how…’ rather than ‘watch out’ or ‘be careful’, can help them identify and overcome obstacles in the moment, which sets them up for future success.

When children learn to safely manage risk they develop confidence in their own ability and are more likely to be willing to give things a go. Children who know who to safely manage risk are able to better cope with challenging situations. This contributes to their overall wellbeing. We also know that children who learn to manage risk become teens and adults who know how to manage risk. Giving children a chance to practice this skill in a safe and nurturing environment is important for their long term development.

How KinderGym, Gymnastics and Ninja classes support you to raise a resilient child.

In our KinderGym, Gymnastics and Ninja classes at our Mount Waverley and Lynbrook gymnastics clubs, we set up activities that encourage measured risk taking. We want children to feel their heart rate increase, to feel a little bit scared, and then to take a big breath and give it a go. Our qualified coaches are there to cheer them on, and catch them when they fall.

We know that children learn by doing, so our KinderGym, Gymnastics and Ninja classes have been developed to minimise waiting time and ensure that everyone gets a go. We know that children have different preferences when it comes to receiving instructions. Our coaches have received training in delivering instructions visually, auditorily and kinaesthetically. This helps children understand the instructions quickly so they can get on with the gymnastics and ninja activities, developing their ability to manage risk in a fun environment.

Positive risk taking is very closely aligned with developing a growth mindset. One of our club values is to have and teach a growth mindset, to ensure that all children learn that their abilities are not pre-determined – they can achieve what they work hard for.

Some phrases that we use in the gym that you might find helpful.

They say We say
I can’t do it…. You can’t do it yet….let’s practice.
I’m shy… Let’s practice being brave!
I’m scared…. That’s ok, fear is your brains way of telling your body to be careful…let me help you break it down.
I’m bored…. Here’s a challenge for you….
(Parent says from the sidelines….) Concentrate! Be careful! Notice how when you turn your head your body changes direction. Let’s focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
I made a mistake… Everyone makes mistakes, they help you learn.


Want to know more about Skylark Sports classes?

Skylark Sports offers KinderGym, Gymnastics, Ninja, Tumbling and Acrobatics classes for children of all ages. We also run school holiday programs and birthday parties because we know how much children love to move!

If you think your child could benefit from learning to manage risk safely we would love to see you in our KinderGym, Gymnastics or Ninja classes. Skylark Sports offers classes for children of all ages and abilities. To learn more call us on 9544 8008 or email us at admin@skylarksports.com.au or visit our customer portal to book a trial class.

Both our Mt Waverley and Lynbrook gymnastics centres are permanently set up with the latest training equipment including a fully sprung floor, trampolines, bars, beam, ropes, rings and a custom designed Ninja Zone.

Our Mount Waverley gymnastics centre is perfect for families from the surrounding suburbs including Oakleigh, Ashwood, Burwood, Blackburn South, Glen Waverley, Wheelers Hill, Malvern and Mulgrave.

Our new Lynbrook gymnastics centre welcomes families from the surrounding suburbs including Lyndhurst, Cranbourne, Narre Warren, Hampton Park, Clyde, Dandenong, Hallam, Beaconsfield and Berwick.

Written by

Jasmin Meaker

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