Risky outdoor play is good for children

Risky outdoor play has lots of benefits for developing children. We of course want to keep our youngsters safe when they’re playing. But, there are ways to introduce managed risk into their outdoor time that’s really good for them.
Telling a child something is dangerous doesn’t hold the same weight as their learned experiences. If they touch something hot, they’ll learn exactly what that means. The unpleasant experience will inform their future responses and understanding of risk.
Image Playgrounds are experts at designing play spaces full of well managed risks.

child climbing a tree and enjoying risky outdoor play

What is risky play?

Risky outdoor play doesn’t involve leaving children completely unsupervised in potentially dangerous conditions. It simply allows children to get outside and test out their abilities in order to develop themselves physically, socially and emotionally.

Heading outdoors for a little managed risk encourages children to explore and interact with the world. Through play, they gain an understanding of their abilities and limitations. It can involve climbing trees, running or cycling at high speeds, play fighting, and exploring an area alone.

What are the benefits?

Children learn lots of invaluable lessons through risky play. They are able to get a good understanding of what it is possible for them to achieve, and what is a little outside of their current capabilities.

Testing the limits of their physical abilities is great at supporting their healthy development. They’ll hone skills in balance and coordination, as well as increase their strength.

Everyday life is full of minor risks that play can help prepare children for. It allows them to become more confident, risk aware adults that make informed choices about their safety. By encouraging them to push boundaries when they’re little, they’ll be able to develop into self-aware young people.

Triumphs and failures also help them build a healthy emotional resilience. Overcoming fears feels fantastic and will help them to challenge themselves as they grow. But they’ll also gain an understanding of when to listen to the voice in their head when a risk is too great, as they’ll know their own capabilities.

Allowing children to engage in risky outdoor play is brilliant for supporting their social development too. They support each other while testing their abilities and are able to work on problem solving skills at the same time.

There are lots of reasons to allow children to engage in well managed risky outdoor play. We can’t allow children to be so scared of consequences they never act, nor allow them to be flippant about the risks they face.

primary school children enjoying shared risky outdoor play

Get in touch

Image Playgrounds are experts at designing playgrounds full of equipment that enables children to safely test the limits of their abilities. We build safety features into all our designs so children can experience the thrill of climbing, swinging and enjoying risky play without ever being in real danger.

Get in touch with us today for your free 3D design and site survey.