Why Kids Need Engage in “Risky Play”

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

For most of us our favourite childhood memories are climbing trees or using no hands to ride down the steepest hill. When we reflect on our childhoods, we find that many of these play activities are now considered unsafe or risky.

"Risky Play" By Definition

Of course, we are responsible for keeping our children from harm, but are we becoming too over protective and denying our children the benefits of risky play?

“Risky Play” can be defined as a thrilling and exciting activity that involves a risk of physical injury, and play that provides opportunities for challenge, testing limits, exploring boundaries and learning about injury risk (Sandseter 2007; Little & Wyver, 2008.Feb 25, 2015).

Risky play is very important for children and helps to develop critical life skills such as:

· Building resilience confidence, and persistence

· Balance and Coordination

· Awareness of the capabilities of their own bodies

· Curiosity and wonder

So next time they ask if they can slide down the hill on a cardboard box maybe we can see it as an opportunity for them to extend their boundaries and achieve something new!


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