Treating anything like “forbidden fruit” is often detrimental to children, and can lead to bigger problems down the road. Obviously, certain activities and tools have a range of “age appropriateness” but in our overprotective society, too often parents are squeamish about letting kids experiment with things that can harm them, to the detriment of kids development.
At a Berlin day care center, a little boy lights a match and touches it to another, making a sudden flare. The girl sitting next to him shouts a word that is the same in German and English: “Cool!”
The two children, both under 6, aren’t breaking any rules. They are taking part in a fire workshop designed by Kain Karawahn, an artist who, as part of a performance piece about freedom in 1987, once set a blaze at the Berlin Wall. No one was hurt.
Now Mr. Karawahn teaches young children how to set safe fires. “The success is not ‘Hooray, it’s burning!’” he said. “The success is that after my fire, the place looks the same as before, and I look the same as before.”