With so many different kinds of parenting styles and learning activities, it can be difficult to stay on track. How is a parent able to keep up with all to-dos while in the moment? For starters, not only are parents supposed to keep their kids safe and protected, but they're also supposed to let their child learn boundaries and downfalls through something called Risky Play.
Risky play means that kids can test parameters without the need for acceptance from their parents. Typically done outside, risky play involves kids exploring and experimenting with risk as they go about their play-day. They're supposed to learn what they can get away with, what they're physically capable of doing, and how the world works.
Now, this doesn't mean parents should let their kids run rampant around the playground; mom and dad should be standing idly by to make sure their child isn't in any real harm (and if they are, they need to intervene immediately). To push the buttons of risk, here are 10 awesome activities for your child to try
10 Monkey Bars At The Playground
Monkey bars may seem dangerous to parents but they're a source of magic for a kid. The ability to dangle that high off the ground and have enough body strength to keep themselves hanging is the goal of all goals for a kid.
By allowing your child to play around with monkey bars without your help, they'll learn their own strength, how to maneuver their bodies, and what happens when they fall. Will they give up and cry... or will they get up and try again?
9 Winter Sports: Sledding, Snowboarding, And Skiing
The thought of your young child partaking in winter sports sounds awfully threatening — and it can be. However, a little bit of support from mom or dad can go a long way. If your little one sees you sledding with glee, they'll try and do the same thing.
Falling over looks scary but once they realize how soft the snow is (and how fun it can be), falling off their sled won't be that big of a deal. In terms of bigger snow sports like snowboarding or skiing, sign them up for lessons and watch them learn new things and use new muscles they've never used before.
8 Indoor Rock Climbing
Letting your child climb rocks in Western America sounds like a horror movie, so the safest way to let your child have some risk in this area is indoor rock climbing.
At most indoor rock climbing establishments, young climbers are connected to a pully system. If they fall, the person below has control of the pully so that they won't fall and hit the floor. Instead, they'll just kind of dangle there. This is an amazing risk to take for kids. They'll learn how to climb, use their personal strength to get to the top, and they can feel what it's like to being determined.
Even if camping doesn't sound like something the family would be into, families can totally camp in their own back yard. Grab a tent and set up camp! Put together a bunch of outdoor activities they want their child to try to encourage risk.
They can learn how to build a fire (or a fire pit, if you're in your backyard), construct a tent, create things out of wood, and if you actually are camping in the woods, kids can learn how to interact around streams and rivers.
6 Playing Tag
Tag may seem like a simple game but for kids, it's the game of all games. Whether a child is playing tag or flag tag, they'll learn about their own endurance and speed. They'll also learn how to creatively stay away from their opponent while unconsciously working on balance and decision making.
Not to mention tag is so fun they're not even going to realize they're learning a few things while playing. Tag is also a wonderful way to teach a child how to lose and win in the proper way.
5 Bike Riding
Is there anything more refreshing than feeling the wind of the world in your hair as you go biking? It's incredibly freeing for both parent and child.
As soon as your child is old enough to start riding bikes, encourage the thought. And once they're comfortable riding bikes by themselves (without the help of their parents) let them go explore. Go on family bike rides through wooded trails, learn how to bike with one hand before pedaling with none at all! Biking over speedbumps and around the neighborhood will get them some independence while learning what they need to do in order not to fall.
4 Build A Birdhouse
Whether it's a birdhouse or something a little trickier, building something with your child is such a fun adventure. They'll learn how to use tools correctly and watch something go from a block of wood to an actual home for birds. At the same time, kids will figure out the dangers of tools and what can go wrong if not done so with care.
Parents can also ask their child what they think needs to be done in order to make the project successful. Once it's built correctly, allow your child's creativity to go wild by letting them paint the outside. Seeing something they made with their own hands can encourage them in so many ways.
3 Go On A Search For Water
Okay, so finding water may not sound like a risk but parents can turn it into one. If you're taking your whole family on a vacation to the beach, let your kid learn from the waves. What happens when they get knocked over by one? What happens when they dive under one successfully? Will they remember their swimming techniques?
Aside from the beach, parents can also take their kid for a hike to find water. Let them use their ears to listen for water and once they're there, see how they interact with slippery rocks or accidentally falling in.
Understandably, there are thousands of parents who are uncomfortable with their children rough-housing in the house. Siblings and friends do this all the time, simply because they're having a good time.
For whatever reason, kids love to wrestle and chase each other around, so let it happen. It's a risk to run around as such because once they get tackled, they learn how to react. Obviously, if horseplay is getting too aggressive, mom or dad should step in to call a time-out.
1 Map It Out
Many adults these days are re-engaging with scavenger hunts. Many groups of friends do one collectively to see who will complete most of the scavengers and come out on top. It's fun and brings a sense of competitiveness out that many people don't even realize they have.
Give kids a similar burst of energy and create a scavenger hunt for them or create a makeshift treasure map. Follow them around as they go looking for hints and treasures. Let them get creative and see the risks they're willing to take (and not take) in hopes of winning something at the end.