Physical play is increasingly recognized as an essential element for healthy development of toddlers. It has an overall effect on their physical health, mental well-being, cognitive and social development. Physical play involves Risky play. This term is gaining momentum due to abundance of research being published that lists out the social, emotional and physical benefits of outdoor play for children.
Some benefits of Risky Play:
Risk Assesment - Engaging in risky play allows the child to deduce their own limits and understand what might work and what may not. They learn to apply these assessments to a variety of situations. Children exposed to risky play are less likely to get injured. They are more tuned to observing their surroundings and make appropriate decisions.
Handle Emotions - Risky play helps them confront and deal with emotions like fear and anger without having a meltdown.
Boosts Self-confidence - Indulging in risky play and overcoming the risks boosts their confidence and self-esteem. It helps them become confident of their actions and environment.
Problem Solving - Risky play puts kids in a situation where they need to assess their next steps and make a decision. The ability of assessing a situation and taking decisions is a great skill and will help them develop creative problem solving skills.
Physical Development - Needless to say, physical activities like running, jumping, climbing and other physical forms develop their gross motor skills, strength and endurance.
Deal with Failure - The ability to deal with the consequences of your choice, good and bad is an important lesson of growing up. Risky play involves falling, tripping and failure. It teaches them to deal with these maturely.
Climbing, exploring, testing limits and capabilities are real developmental needs. When these needs are met, a child is happy and content.
Given the current, pandemic situation and limitations on outdoor play, there are certain indoor toys that can help with exposing your child to risky play. The Pikler/Climbing triangle is one such great toy.