Children have an innate urge to play from birth right through to teenage years and they are often at their happiest when playing or ‘hanging out’. Taking risks, or being challenged is a necessary part of playing. Children will often need and want to create challenge and uncertainty in their play. As adults we can probably remember the thrill and excitement of testing boundaries – climbing higher, swinging harder, balancing on beams, jumping rivers, running faster, swimming further, doing something for the first time!
Children need the freedom to play how they choose and this includes taking risks and engaging in risky, challenging play. Children, regardless of their culture, background or ability will need to take risks physically and emotionally and for adults a balanced, thoughtful approach to supporting challenging play is a helpful starting point.