I have always been a pretty worrisome mom. I don’t like my kids to do anything even remotely dangerous; my heart skips a beat and I’m quick to tell them to stop. I’m just too nervous.
You know those moms that let their kids climb trees, fences, jump off the swings as they’re still moving? Well apparently they’re right… and I’ve been wrong.
This study has proven that risky outdoor play is really, really good for our kids. It benefits not just their overall health but their social skills as well. It also encourages creativity.
“We found that play environments where children could take risks promoted increased play time, social interactions, creativity and resilience,” said Mariana Brussoni, lead author of the study, and assistant professor in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health and Department of Pediatrics.
This includes physical activities like:
- exploring outdoors alone
- rough play
- climbing of all kinds
These types of activities give kids a chance to explore their own limits and learn about risk.
Experts don’t think you need to just open the door and let your toddler run outside with no supervision at all. It does however, think we should loosen the reigns just a bit.
We should let our kids go play in the rain more, climb a tree, explore the backyard alone, dig in the rocks, pick up bugs, jump off things…
The risk for most of these activities are minimal but the benefits are huge.
So the next time you, like me, tell your kiddo to get off that tree or stop playing with that stick, maybe hold on a minute or two and let them explore a bit longer.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.