Observe these toddlers as they wander around their neighborhoods in pursuit of whatever happens to interest them. This is Young Explorers Club, a series of short films that asks “What happens when kids explore the world on their own terms?” In an interview with the International Center of Photography (ICP), filmmaker Jacob Krupnick explains:

In America, raising kids is a process filled with love and fulfillment, but also characterized by paranoia. There’s a tendency to protect our kids from any potential sources of harm, shower them with praise, and carefully curate their every experience. But this anxiety and vigilance is a recent thing. It certainly wasn’t always this way—my dad grew up hunting in his backyard after school; my mom grew up casually cruising around Greenwich Village in the 1950s.

Last year when my daughter was born, I began thinking more about all the ways people think about becoming a parent. All our watchfulness is well meaning, I think, but it’s also stifling. And ultimately, I think it’s probably limiting. “Young Explorers” asks us to imagine what happens when we lower our guard, and trust that things will be alright.

Follow young explorers Bejla, above, and Tristan below.

For additional films in the series, stay tuned to YoungExplorers.club.

Next: Lenka Clayton’s The Distance I Can Be From My Son, Lost Boy Remembers His Way Home, The Genius of Play – Vital benefits of playtime in 9 animations, and Alike.

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