Risks of Play


What is risky Play

There are 8 types of risky play.

Rough and Tumble

Experiencing rigorous physical exercise with other children

  • Play fighting
  • Chasing
  • Tumbling
  • Kicking balls
High Speed

Experiencing the thrill of speed

  • Running down hills
  • Swinging on swings
  • Travelling on swings, ziplines and other playground equipment
  • Riding bokes and other wheeled equipment
Great Hight

Feeling a sense of achievement and experiencing great views

  • Climbing and swinging in trees
  • Jumping from level to level
  • Balancing on objects that appear to  be high up
  • Climbing frames
Dangerous Tools

Being trusted to be in control of something dangerous

  • Using tools to in a demonstrative way
  • Loose parts
  • Supervised construction
Dangerous Elements

Learning skills, and feeling a sense of independence

  • Swimming in the deep end
  • Roasting a marshmallow over a open flame
  • Crossing a bridge
Play with Impact

Crashing into something for fun

  • Jumping on mattresses
  • Belly flops into the pool
Gettign Lost

The feel of temporary separation without real risks

  • Playing hide and seek
  • Going out into wooded areas
  • Building hideouts
Vicarious Play

Getting a thrill watching others engage in risk

  • Watching other children play in risky ways
  • Watching adults use tools and equipment

These can be anything from simple activities just as spinning around and feeling dizzy, playing hide and seek and having the rush of feeling “worried” about being found. To then the more extreme risks such as climbing, running, using tools or activities with fire.


Risky play develops a child’s self-confidence, when they fail at climbing something or succeeding and work on trying again it gives them a higher sense of achievement  Risky play is not about doing something dangerous, but about moving past uncertainty to try something exciting.

Benefits of risky play

  • Risky play provides the foundation needed to regulate emotional responses like fear, nervousness, or anger in adulthood.
  • Children who engage in risky play develop skills to handle the feelings of nervousness and fear that can come with trying new things.
  • Adventurous play is beneficial for children and will increase resilience and improved wellbeing.
  • Risky play activities that are part of a child’s active play help to make them more physically literate.
  • Children who engage in active risky play develop their large muscle skills, begin to understand how their bodies move, and learn how fun active play can be!
  • Risky play gives children the skills they need to adapt to new situations and explore new environments—skills that become even more important when they go to school.
  • When a child tries something risky, they gain the confidence to say, “I can do this!” and try more things on their own.
  • Children who engage in risky play are more likely to take chances where there is a chance of failure. Even if they fall, they know they can get back up and try again.
  • Risky play has a big part in building Childrens self-esteem, through the sense of achievement

What effects language has

Instead of telling your child not to climb so high or run so fast while observing them at play, take a moment — or, as Brussoni advises, 17 seconds. Step back and see how your child is reacting to the situation so that you can actually get a better sense of what they’re capable of when you’re not getting in the way.

This will provide them with the opportunity to figure out for themselves what’s comfortable and what they can do, while allowing them to develop those all-important risk-management skills.

Risk Assessment at Blue Sky

Anxious adults create anxious children

We at Blue Sky are here to support all our parents and children in any way we can.

We allow the children to engage in Risky play in our settings and ensure that our staff are equipped to monitor act act in the case of an accident.

Every activity is risk assessed by a staff member beforehand, which allows for staff to identify risks of an activity and find ways to mitigate them.