The Benefits of Risky Play in the Early Learning Environment

Scallywags welcome and promote risky play in the early years settings. This is because there are many benefits to young children exploring and learning about the world they live in. Being allowed to explore dangerous situations such as climbing trees for example, gives the child the opportunity to gain an awareness of danger and to manage risks for themselves.

If children are only offered safe situations, they may not learn how to manage risk and learn how to keep themselves safe. At Scallywags we promote risky play without the immediate risk of danger. We encourage the children to think about their own safety, by offering risky play scenarios in well supervised and managed situations.

Risky Play 2


These situations are:

[1] Tree climbing. The risk is in the height not the activity. We encourage exploration in tree climbing while supervising how high the children can climb.

[2] Den Making.

[3] Encourage both girls and boys to experience risks while playing. It shouldn’t be seen as just for boys.

Research and studies have shown that children are unlikely to be hurt through risky play due to the children having an understanding of their own capabilities. Some parents can be over protective and not see the real benefit and self development that this type of play can bring to their children.

It allows the children to learn about the world around them whilst making their own decisions about their own safety. Risky play supports children in testing their limits, exploring their boundaries and keeping themselves safe. Who knows, if all our children grew up as non risk takers, we could be losing out on the next Richard Branson.