Working with Families to Encourage Risky Play

Topic Progress:

ParticipACTION is a national non-profit organization, originally launched as a Canadian government program in the 1970s, to promote healthy living and physical fitness. They have identified eleven examples of risky play that they suggest for families. How can you use this list to advocate for risky play to families and regulators, and how can you use these examples in your own settings?

11 examples of risky play:

  1. Tug-of-war with friends!
  2. Play desert island. Pretend the ground can’t be touched and jump from island to island, or rock to rock.
  3. Wrestling over a ball is a great way to get hearts pumping!
  4. Practice your biggest bounce on a trampoline!
  5. Horse play! (No equipment needed!)
  6. A family sack race.
  7. Strap in safely, and belay up a rock face, or climbing gym.
  8. Use the playground, creatively!
  9. Try skateboarding or rollerblading, with a helmet of course!
  10. Take a big leap from a swing.
  11. Climb a tree! It never gets old. is an online tool to help parents and caregivers confidently allow their kids to engage in more outdoor play. It was a collaborative initiative between University of British Columbia(UBC), BC Children’s Hospital and the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit to support parents and practioners to find a more balanced approach to understand the importance of risky play and work towards a plan for change. To access the tool, visit