The Benefits of Risky Play: Risk in the playground is essential for children’s growth, creating challenges which allow children opportunities to succeed and/or fail based on individual reasoning and choices helping them to learn risk management.
Hazards, on the other hand, are items or situations that a child is not expected to comprehend, see, or foresee. Risky play has been shown to be beneficial to children’s development by helping them cope with stressful situations, learn how to follow-through, improve social interaction skills, increase creativity, assist in understanding their limitations, recognise areas for improvement, and help form positive, pro-active attitudes. Other benefits also include improved motor skills and cognitive understanding of the environment.
The lack of risk in the play environment could lead to children who are “risk-averse,” never having learned how to effectively manage everyday situations, or to children who seek out dangerous or hazardous locations to experience thrill.