Risky Play

February 3, 2023

What is Risky Play?

Risky play is an intuitive and emergent experience for children, and has been for thousands of years. Learning the limits of their body, searching out those limits and learning what feels good and what feels scary or “too much” emerges in play throughout childhood.  Risky play helps children develop resilience, executive functioning skills, self-confidence, and risk-assessment abilities. Each time they engage in risky play they are engaging in their own science experiment: pushing themselves out of their comfort zone without knowing what the exact outcome will be. Injury prevention research shows that engaging in risky play can actually reduce the risk of injury too!

Some ways you may see kids engaging in risky play are:

  • playing at heights
  • running at high speeds
  • using things in ways that aren’t intended (climbing the couch, going up the slide instead of down)
  • rolling down hills
  • climbing rocks
  • walking on anything that requires balance
  • spinning in circles
  • jumping off anything and everything

The infants enjoy our new climber. They each take turns climbing up the side and sliding down the other side. They enjoy climbing to the top and standing- they have the biggest smile on their face when they reach the top. The children also take turns walking down the slide and laughing when they get to the bottom.

Fine Motor and Gross MotorCreative Arts