Risky play, which involves children experimenting and pushing themselves to figure out what will happen without knowing the exact outcome, has several benefits for their development. It helps them develop resilience, executive functioning skills, self-confidence, and risk-assessment abilities. Risky play also allows children to learn to manage perceived danger, negotiate risks, understand their limits, and build emotional regulation, adaptability, and physical literacy skills.
The combination of risky play and natural playgrounds allows children to engage in a sensory-rich setting and get all the benefits of being outdoors, including lowering childhood obesity & both better mental and physical health.
The article “Pop the bubble wrap and let kids play outdoors, pediatricians say” from the CBC discusses the significance of allowing children to engage in activities that involve risk, such as climbing trees or playing with tools, to help them build strength, endurance, coordination, confidence, and self-esteem.
Kids need to get outside and take physical risks , Video from the CBC
New recommendations released on January 25th of this year from the Canadian Paediatric Society(CPS) talk about the importance of unstructured outdoor play for children including “Risky Play”.
In addition, the essence of risky play offers children the opportunity to experience excitement, achievement, and exhilaration, which contributes to their overall well-being. Encouraging risky play can also help children learn from their mistakes, build resilience, and gain confidence. Ultimately, risky play is considered essential for healthy child development, as it provides children with the valuable opportunity to test their boundaries and learn from their experiences.
Furthermore, various sources emphasize the importance of risky play and its positive impact on children’s development. Early childhood educator perceptions highlighted in a study suggest that risky play allows children to engage in risk assessment, negotiate risk, and understand their limits. Overall, embracing outdoor risky play is crucial in helping children develop important life skills and build confidence, while also providing them with the thrills and experiences that are essential for healthy growth and development. Therefore, supporting and encouraging risky play can have numerous benefits and contribute to fostering well-rounded, resilient, and confident children.