Children love to play and adults consider it a natural activity of their childhood and an integral part of their early learning. Play is an essential aspect of every child’s growth and development because it provides various ways to grow and learn. Important abilities and skills are developed throughout the stages of a child’s play. Muscle coordination, communication, thinking skills, confidence, and social skills are sharpened as they grow older. Kids also learn the values of sportsmanship, respect, and humility in games where competition is present.
Playing games and other team sports activities enhance fitness and provide opportunities to develop other skills such as problem-solving, decision-making and the desire to engage in a healthy competition for fun and enjoyment. Engaging in various forms of play help the children become alert, allowing a good mind and healthy body to be developed.
But there are some games and sports which some parents find themselves making second thoughts in allowing their kids’ participation. In playing games, they often think that risky games put the participants in danger. Tug-of-war, climbing a tree, some games that require kids running at high speed, and other potentially unsafe activities are often avoided by most parents who do not want to involve their kids in any dangerous activity. The risks in plays may be identified in the chosen venue of the activity, the materials and equipment to be used, the possible complications in the ways the games are to be played, the skills of people in charge of the games, the childcare or medical team who take care of the players, and the supply of food and things that ensure the wellbeing of the participants.
Risky plays also teach the little ones to be more flexible, resilient, and adventurous. When the utmost safety of the above provisions is established, there is no reason why a child should be deprived of the chance to engage in a risky, unpredictable play that may teach one a lesson on how to overcome their fears in taking risks, which are equivalent to problems that occur in the duration of the game. Of course, parents are in the best position to decide the extent of danger that a particular activity has and should offer or agree to risky plays that are age-appropriate and suitable for their children.
Indeed, risky activities has its advantages. The little ones can enjoy the following benefits:
Building stamina, endurance and control
Kids who engage in risky activities whether at home, at a preschool or among others, become fully aware of the importance of building strength and endurance of the body, as this will help them cope when facing a difficult situation.
Finding ways to solve difficult situations
Children employs their intuition to pinpoint the most appropriate solution to problems encountered. The situation calls for them being sensitive to the issue and learning to give a sensible reaction to help them solve them.
Being alert and collaborative
Alone, or in the company of other players, kids learn the importance of being watchful and focused on the process and duration of the play. Being alert on its details will help them cope in case some unexpected changes take place. Being in a challenge that involves two or more players allow the kids to work with each other so they are given the chance to talk and share their ideas, and express their feelings and thoughts, also giving importance to positive results that come from good collaboration.
Imaginative problem solving
The children’s ability to quickly think of possible solutions to a problem is strengthened when playing challenging games because situational problems demand fast actions. With the desire to succeed, players of games with unpredictable conditions develop smart and quick acts and may grow up to be intelligent risk-takers.
Develop a realization of what they can achieve
Kids learn that enough courage and determination to succeed will help them accomplish what they believe they can do. This can be taught and encouraged in as early as kindergarten. When they finally decide to get involved in challenging situations, they gain that inner belief that they can do it; hence, later in their adult lives, they will push themselves to their limits and become bold enough to handle their fears and take risks in order to realize their dreams.
When a kind of risky play is deemed manageable for a kid without putting their body in danger, then the parent can give a thumbs up to the kid to join the game. Parents, teachers, carers, and guardians are advised to provide guidance and support. Most risky plays engaged by children may result in bruises in arms and legs. Some kids who join risky plays come out of it sulking and crying for the mess they have encountered, and some come out smiling — triumphant and confident even after experiencing some physical pain and frustrations. Definitely, both the kids who won and those who have lost learned something very important from a risky activity: the art of facing challenges on their own.
Photo source: Resolingaire / 91 images via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0. alteredego / 7 images via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0.