One of the six categories of risky play is rough and tumble. It is a kind of play where children chase one another and fight playfully.
Today while playing with the children in the Adventure Playground, I saw a group of children starting to push each other. I went over to evaluate the situation,and to see if it needed adult supervision. When I approach them I just listened and watched first without interrupting. From that I gathered that they were just playing.
In this situation I contemplated what to do. Should I choose the reactive or proactive side of me? The reactive side of me wants to redirect them to play something else to keep them safe. And the proactive side of me wants to let them experience the play safely.
I decided to choose the latter. I went to them and gave them some guidelines on how they can play the game. I told them that I could see that they were enjoying their "pushing game" and I want them to have fun but also be safe.
The guidelines I chose were: we can only push on their bodies and not on their faces. I also told them if their playmate fell on the ground they would have to help them get up and wait until they are ready to continue the game. The game lasted for 20 minutes. After that fun game they decided to run up and slide down the hill.
Risky play is very vital to the children's physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. It opens the children's opportunity to explore and discover their abilities and creativeness. It is risky but what they can gain out of it is worth the challenge.
Written by: Mrs.Cruz