Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Instruction and Curriculum: Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Nagnon Diarrassouba

Academic Year



Risky play is a thrilling form of play that has the potential for some injury and is a biologically innate need within all children that provides a variety of physical, mental, and emotional benefits to children. Currently however, preschool and kindergarten classrooms in the United States offer little to no opportunities for risky play in early childhood settings. The main factor that influences the amount of risky play happening in early childhood classrooms is teacher attitudes related to risky play; if teachers have a negative attitude about risky play, less risky play is allowed in their classroom setting. This project examines three themes that are influential in striving to increase educator positive attitudes related to risky play in preschool and kindergarten classrooms within the United States. These themes have been used to create a professional development program for educators, which through consistent and accurate implementation will aim to increase educator positive attitudes toward risky play and therefore the amount of risky play happening in preschool and kindergarten classrooms.