As we have already discussed in other blogs, the play has very important and undeniable benefits for children’s development. Among these advantages is the space to take risks, face different obstacles and achieve personal or joint goals.
Of course, as teachers, parents, and playground providers we are aware that accidents and mistakes can happen during play (whether when playing at great heights, at high speeds, or on unfamiliar playground equipment new to them).
It is natural to have fears and to want to make sure that our children do not get hurt. However, if we do not allow our children to experience any risk at all, we will be closing off an incredible learning and growth opportunity for life. Today, we share with you three ways you can provide safe play opportunities for your family.
Encourage safe risk-taking of their own
Playing allows children to have a safe environment where to explore and understand their capabilities and gain some exposure to the reality that awaits them in the future, which is one in which there will always be risks. That is why there is great value in encouraging children to take risks on their own and challenge themselves.
Taking risks in safe environments and achieving success motivates children to keep setting goals. Failure also allows them to learn things they can do better, try new experiences, discover new skills, and overcome fears.
When we encourage children to engage in risky play, we foster confidence, autonomy management, development of decision-making, and problem-solving skills. In general, we strengthen their cognitive and emotional capacities.
Teach them to know their boundaries
Playing is the perfect time for young children to learn about the world. But also, to learn more about themselves, their likes & dislikes, and explore their skills and areas for improvement. Play experiences by themselves do not eliminate challenges, so knowing how to weigh the risks and benefits is critical. As adults, we have an important role in monitoring and supervising children when they are on playgrounds as we set rules, promote negotiation environments in case of conflict, and teach about appropriate behaviors in social settings.
However, it is also necessary to teach kids to know their limits as this will serve as a useful tool for them to self-regulate, develop emotional coping strategies for the future, and learn about the consequences of risk-taking.
Provide a safe space
Everything that we discussed in the previous points can be given if we first make sure to provide a safe space for our children to play. It is important taking into account the dangers children are exposed. But also, it is necessary having in mind their ages, capacities, and special abilities.
For this reason, when we adopt a play space, it is necessary to identify the possible dangers and modify or eliminate them according to the case. Plus, it is ideal that each playground equipment is used specifically for what it was designed for, and also that the rules of the play spaces are socialized and can be followed in the best way.
Risk play offers huge benefits for the psychological, emotional, social, and physical kids development. With Westplay, you can provide safe play opportunities to your family, contact us right now to discover the safest playground equipment!