The Importance of Risky Play for Children: Benefits and Games

supporting-children-during-risky-play

‘Go out and play!’

Words that have been uttered by many parents, over many years.

  Words that stand as a testament to the Faith we have in Life!

It’s true, we never know what the next moment might bring for any of us. For parents, it becomes especially vital to see that their children are growing up in a secure environment at all times. This not only implies the time they find themselves outside, as stated in the above example, but also the time they spend indoors.

When they are young, children find themselves ‘playing’ a great deal. As their parents and caretakers, we take pains to ensure that they do not take ‘risks’ of any kind. However, is that really the best thing we might be doing?

It turns out, while letting our children take risks while they play might seem as contrary to our natural instincts, it’s really not all that bad. In fact,

‘Risky Play does not necessarily equate to your child being in Danger!’

In this article, we will see why Risky Play is important for children. We will explore Risky Games to play, with a view to uncovering the myriad benefits that Risky Play offers our kids.

But first, a closer look at Risky Play. After all, there’s no ‘Risk’ in reading about it, right?

Risky Play: What it Really Means

In the early years of a child’s life, Risky Play is nothing short of being an activity that is ‘exciting’ for them.

Of course, the very term ‘Risky Play’ implies that there is an element of ‘Risk’ involved in that session of Play, right? There’s no need to get alarmed here. This might mean that your child is at a risk of some physical injury while they play, but in all probability, it won’t be anything serious.

How many times have we come back home in our childhood days, with something like a scraped knee? One that might have resulted from our diving for a ball. Do we need to mollycoddle our children to such an extent, that they don’t get the same opportunities to indulge in the cool activities we were exposed to as little children?

Risky Play: The Benefits of Risky Play for Kids

There’s plenty of benefits that Risky Play offers the adventurous child, the most pertinent of which are the following:

  1. Learning about Winning and Losing.
  2. Imagine a child trying to climb the first few branches of a tree. They might struggle initially, but when they succeed, they will know what it means to ‘win.’ Conversely, if they fall, they will know the meaning of ‘loss.’

  3. Knowing what is Possible, and What’s not.
  4. Taking the above example, children will learn to ‘problem-solve’, and work out in their minds if climbing that tree is even possible to begin with. They might come to the realization that they must further work on their climbing skills, before attempting it once more.

  5. It helps them cope with Stress.
  6. Once again, that tree can teach your child more than you think. By managing to hop onto its branches, they will discover that there are certain obstacles in life that can be overcome with a little effort, and not cause us undue stress. Conversely, the acceptance that they are not able to do it, will lead to the same result!

  7. Social Interaction.
  8. One of the best things about Risky Play is that it rarely ever occurs in isolation! There are always some friends who will indulge happily with your child, in those risky activities. After all, that element of ‘danger’ becomes all the more strong, when there are a bunch of daredevils attempting to perform a risky act!

Risky Play: Risky Games to Play for Children

Have you overcome your ‘fear’ of exposing your little one to Risky Play? That is, after being introduced to its benefits in the preceding section?

Don’t worry, the Risky Games outlined below are ones that have been tried and tested over the years. Oh, and you might just get a sense of déjà vu, when you explore these Risky Play Games for Kids.

  1. The Need for Speed.
  2. Did you swing on a rope as a child? All you have to do is attach that rope to the branch of a tree, like the kind we saw in the previous section. Then, hoist your child and watch them squeal with delight, as they swing like Tarzan Boy!

  3. Friends in High Places.
  4. Risky Play gives a delightful new meaning to this classic phrase! Your child and their friends will love jumping down from places that are ‘high.’ Well, not ‘too high’, of course! It will work wonders for their confidence.

  5. Hide and Seek.
  6. This simple game of ‘disappearing’ can be risky, if it’s played outdoors. While children might delight in hiding from adults and even other children, they secretly harbour a sense of fear, when they find themselves all alone and ‘lost.’ Undoubtedly, a game that you won’t be able to resist playing yourself!

  7. Rough-and-Tumble Play.
  8. Perhaps the closest thing to this would be a Pillow Fight! Now remove the pillows, and imagine kids using their bare hands to ‘wrestle’ each other. Of course, they will have a natural instinct to not seriously hurt their friends, don’t worry!

  9. Dangerous tools.
  10. Even adults use tools like hammers and saws with a sense of trepidation. Children will delight in being granted the ‘privilege’ to play with these tools. Of course, when we say ‘play’ here, we mean ‘within reasonable limits!’

  11. In the Vicinity of Dangerous Elements.
  12. Whether it’s playing in the vicinity of a campfire, or stepping on pebbles in a fast-flowing stream, there’s an undeniable element of ‘risk’ at ‘play’!

At EuroKids we believe that the last thing our children need is to find themselves ‘cocooned’, protected from what we believe are ‘dangers’ in the world we live in. Allowing them to indulge in Risky Play, not only increases their confidence, it gives them a chance to have oodles of fun, too.