Hazards’ Haven

Hazard’s Haven accepts public bookings on certain days. Contact us at info@riverstonevillage.org.za for more details.

Hazard’s Haven is Riverstone’s Adventure Junkyard, a space where young people can take risks and reap the rewards. 

A simple hazard orientation and certification process tunes young people’s awareness to safety issues, after which they are free to explore, climb, dig, play, build, and even destroy, within simple limits along the lines of ‘keep yourself safe, treat others with respect and take care of the tools’.

Adventure Junkyards are a tradition in many parts of the world going back for decades. They have been well studied and many benefits have been documented. As far as we know, Hazard’s Haven is the only commercial instance in South Africa.

Risky play is really important for kids—all kids—because it teaches hazard assessment, it teaches delayed gratification, it teaches resilience, it teaches confidence. When kids get outside and practice bravery, they learn valuable life lessons.

Caroline Paul

The route to getting our kids outdoors is not to throw away the computer or the television set, no more than it is to throw away the book we have in our homes.  These are all great sources of learning and enjoyment.  Rather, the route is to make sure kids have real opportunities to play freely outdoors, with other kids, without interference from adults.

Dr Peter Gray

Play is the mother of all disciplined activity

Daniel Greenberg

In our culture today, parents and other adults overprotect children from possible dangers in play.  We seriously underestimate children’s ability to take care of themselves and make good judgments…Our underestimation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – by depriving children of freedom, we deprive them of the opportunities they need to learn how to take control of their own behavior and emotions.

Dr Peter Gray

Children more than ever, need opportunities to be in their bodies in the world – jumping rope, bicycling, stream hopping, and fort building. It’s this engagement between limbs of the body and bones of the earth where true balance and centeredness emerge.

David Sobel

When children play imaginative games together, they do more than exercise their imagination.  They enact roles, and in doing so they exercise their capacities to behave in accordance with shared conceptions of what is or is not appropriate. They also practice the art of negotiation… Getting along and making agreements with others are surely among the most valuable of human survival skills.

Dr Peter Gray

Read about two other Junkyard Playgrounds:

Kids Need Dirt and Danger

The Junk Playground of New York City