Julie Casey MSW, RSW

Wellness Care Farm

Nourishing Hearts















The Benefits of Risky Play
Risk-taking is an essential part of children’s play. Managing that risk is the key to providing opportunities that support growth and development and keep children safe from unreasonable risk and injury. The balancing of these two is vital for our children’s health and development. Everyday life is full of risks and challenges and children need opportunities to develop the skills associated with managing risk and making informed judgments about risks from a young age.

Life-Skills Development
Risky play helps to develop important life skill learnings:

  • Building resilience and persistence
  • Balance and coordination
  • Awareness of the capabilities and limits of their own bodies
  • The ability to assess and make judgement about risk
  • Handling tools safely and with purpose
  • Understanding consequence to action
  • Confidence and independence
  • Resourcefulness
  • Creativity and inventiveness
  • Curiosity and wonder
  • Problem solving



Risky Play

Each child is unique and so the level of risk and challenge they seek will also vary, yet most children will actively seek risk and challenge in play as they explore the world around them and their own physical abilities.

Life is full of risk. By providing children with opportunities to participate in risky and challenging play in a safe learning environment, we provide opportunity for the development of important life skill learnings such as making choices, problem solving, measured risk taking, and navigating their way socially and emotionally in group situations. These skills will be important right through life –particularly in vulnerable stages such as their teenage years, so let’s send them out prepared.

Adapted from Samantha Carrigg https://www.earlylearningservices.com.au/2016/10/26/challenge-risk-childrens-play/

At Nourishing Hearts Wellness Care Farm we implement learning opportunities such as:

  • Supervised, woodwork benches with real tools and accessories such as hammers, nails and saws.
  • Loose parts play – providing children with items such as plastic pipes, milk crates, large reels, ropes, pulleys, wooden boxes, sticks, logs.
  • Fire pits where children cook food under the supervision and learn about the value of fire and the respect of its power must always be remembered.
  • Allowing children opportunity to climb, jump and challenge their unique individual physical skills.
  • Meadow walk and wetland exploration where the wonderful resources that nature provides are explored.
  • Supporting children to problem solve and make decisions.


Note: All of these activities are undertaken supervision.

Everyday life is full of risks and challenges and children need opportunities to develop the skills associated with managing risk and making informed judgments about risks from a young age.

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