Children often experience risky play when they are taking part in thrilling or exciting activities that involve a risk of physical injury. Often it will also provide challenges and test the limits and boundaries of the child. Risky play activities can include but are not limited to, climbing, jumping, balancing and hanging, all of which hold an importance for staff and parents to be aware of safety, but not to get in the way of the vital form of play.

Why is it Important?

Risky play is an important part of any young child’s life. Involvement within risky play allows the child an opportunity to assess risks and manage situations and responses. The great thing about risky play is that it can lead to new skills and experiences, such as walking from a young age, running, climbing and learning to ride a bike. Though these experiences contain risks for the child, they are necessary for the development, regardless of success or failure. Children feel motivated to master new things and a huge sense of excitement when finally grasped.

The feelings that are associated with risky play include enjoyment, excitement, thrill, pride and achievement- all of which are extremely positive feelings and help to build a child’s future. Resilience is also built through participation in risky play activities. Resilience is the ability to persist and persevere and links closely to a child’s self-esteem and confidence.

What about Safety?

Though risky play is an important aspect in any child’s life, safety is an important topic to consider. There are multiple ways that risky play can be delivered without an immediate risk of injury or danger. Parents or staff can introduce risky play using large planks of wood and asking the children to build structures. By assessing the risks that are involved, children are able to think about what could happen and are able to problem solve in any areas they feel could cause danger.
Risky play can be performed inside and outside, which helps to promote continuous cautiousness for the child.

Not only is risky play an extremely fun and exciting way of learning, it also allows children to grow in resilience and have confidence in problem solving and skills. They are able to learn first-hand about the world around them and make their own decisions in regards to safety. It’s surprising how quickly children can gage their own capabilities, which means they are less likely to be seriously hurt by engaging in risky play; they’ll just love exploring and testing themselves to the limits!

Early Years education is vital for children, and we have written a blog post on the importance of this here. With the additional promotion of risky play, children are able to adapt to their surroundings and learn new and exciting skills within a safe and managed environment.

For more information on the benefits of risky play and how you can include it in children’s learning, get in touch with a member of the team today by visiting our contact page or by giving us a call on 0300 300 8131.