The Value of Risky Play

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Children learn through play (Dietze & Kashin, 2012). By exploring their environments, testing out ideas and challenging themselves, they learn about the world around them. Children learn through all types of play including risky play. It is important to recognize the value of risky play, as well as the immense benefits it can bring to children.

Watch the two videos below. What are children learning? What risks are they taking? How do you think the adults involved are managing and minimizing the risks?

When children explore risks in their environment, they are learning to cope with risks and challenges with supportive and caring adults present. Eventually, children will face these types of risks and challenges when they are alone. They will be equipped with the tools and the thinking skills that help them weigh the risk, determine their strategy and help them navigate the risk with good decisions because of prior experience.