5 Types Of “Risky” Play That Benefit Kids

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We all want to keep our kids safe, but it doesn’t take long to realize that’s not a remotely possible goal.

From falls, scrapes, bumps, bruises, and burns to the emotional scars that don’t fade so quickly or easily, we have to sit back and let the blows fall, because like it or not, that’s how children learn.

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And guess what?

Letting our kids take (mild to moderate) risks while we’re near enough to catch them (or at least kiss away the tears), is a good thing, according to child psychologists. Risky play like climbing too high, jumping too far, and running too fast help kids develop essential physical abilities and skills while curbing fears – and not only is it developmentally appropriate, but it can help your littles develop resiliency along the way, says Early Childhood Educator Ellen Sandseter.

“We may observe an increased neuroticism or psychopathology in society if children are hindered from partaking in age adequate risky play.

So, below are 5 types of risky play you should be encouraging rather than discouraging, no matter how much it stuffs your heart into your throat.

5. Climbing Too High

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Play and risk go hand-in-hand. Children need daily opportunities to participate in risky and challenging play in order to develop into resilient and competent problem solvers.❤

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It turns out kids like to climb for evolutionary reasons – kids, young primates, and young birds all take part in “locomotor play,” which helps them develop muscle strength and endurance, as well as the ability to distinguish depth, shape, form, size, movement, and other orientation abilities.

Don’t worry – they should learn their limits fairly quickly.

4. Running Too Fast

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This little one has had 3 years of daily practice mastering playground structures so is naturally starting to seek out new ways to challenge her climbing skills when faced with standard equipment – so today it was shimming up the climber on the stairs handrails instead! She’s developed so much confidence in her gross motor skills and strength to catch herself and keep herself safe while still pushing herself to do more ??? #homechildcare #outdoors #outdoorclassroom #riskyplay #problemsolving #creative #earlyon #earlylearning #earlychildhoodeducation #grossmotor #grossmotorskills

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Moving at top speed helps kids develop perceptual awareness and spatial orientation, and it also has antiphobic effects.

Basically, kids who play at high speeds are less likely to be afraid of heights.

3. Playing Too Rough

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Roughhousing has been found to be especially important for boys; it helps teach them how to bond, as well as about status and competition.

It helps all children develop physical strength and endurance and how to manage aggression – they learn how to de-escalate and cool down if they get too riled up in the process.

2. Straying Too Far

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r i s k Do you take risks? Do you take too many? Not enough? What about the humans in your life? Are you an active encourager of foolhardy escapades or a health and safety stickler? It’s a tricky balance! I know where a lot of my friends think I stand on the line between reckless and ‘wreck less’ ? But taking risks is a fundamental brick in the foundations we build for life. I know grown ups with t r e m e n d o u s potential who are terrified of taking the leap to follow it. But then I do also know a few wild grownups who take completely unnecessary risks… I could overthink and second-guess myself here until the early hours so for now I’m going to let the small humans test themselves, and fail at stuff so they don’t end up paralysed by the fear of failure later on. If there’s one thing I wish I’d discovered earlier is that I am definitely going to get stuff wrong, and it’s ok, in fact, it’s vital. So letting go of the expectation that everything needs/can/should be perfect can set you free to turn the idea of failure into ‘brief emotionally distressing learning opportunities’ ? . . . #failure #risk #failbetter #do #dadlife #baddad #riskyplay #risk #kidswhoclimb #boulderkids #raisingthefuture #parenthood #529adventures #pembrokeshire #dadscomm #childhoodunplugged #runwildmychild #feralkids #wildthings #thisismycymru #exploremore

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Kids love to wander off and explore, and experts think it’s more of a form of play than anything, and developmentally appropriate for kids looking for more independence.

1. Being Too Reckless

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|• Risky • Play •| ————————————————— Risky play is often a thrilling and exciting activity that involves a chance of physical injury. It provides opportunities for challenge, testing limits, exploring boundaries and learning about judgement. ————————————————— Our everyday life is full of risks and challenges therefore children need opportunities to develop the skills associated with managing risk and making informed judgements about risks from a very young age. . ————————————————— Florrie has walked along many walls, I bet most of us have children who enjoy doing the exact same thing… only todays wall had a lake 20 ft down on one side. . ————————————————— . Yes it was full of risk but also a learning opportunity, sometimes we have to loosen the reins and let them learn. It was exciting and testing. She knew to walk, use her arms to balance, to stay close to me and to keep her focus. . ————————————————— ** No actual chance of injury was involved, just a perceived risk from a childs perspective, the wall was 3 foot tall .. the drop on the other side was 3 foot leading to a banking which she would of needed to then roll 20 ft down to get to the water.** #mamasden #play #learn #riskyplay #managingrisk #childminder #childcare #eyfs #networking #follow #focusedplay #redhair #wales #lake #managingbehaviour #influencer #15k #follow #montessori #curiosityapproach #wall #mamaseyden #groxtalks #groxmamas #our_everyday_moments #notababysitter #lovemybiz #stillswithstories #channelmumvillage #childhoodunplugged

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They like to stand too close to the edge, wander a little too far, or run a little too fast, and though researchers aren’t sure why or the benefits, there is some good news – kids seem to be getting better at identifying the danger line with each generation.

So stand back, parents!

It’s hard, but your kids will thank you one day (probably).