I was watching my son play outside. He was hauling a huge log out of the woods to place it across two other logs. He basically made a precarious balance beam. And there he was...at the top of a pretty big hill...testing a balance beam that he built. And I did nothing.
I did nothing because I didn't need to do anything. The likelihood of him getting injured - really injured - was fairly low. The likelihood of him getting extremely upset over my interrupting his fun and then doing whatever he wanted when my back was turned was fairly high.
He looked up to see me watching through the window. I waved. He smiled and waved back. I stop watching and hoped for the best.
I have made my peace with risky play. I know that my son is going to leap off low walls, try to climb trees and forge new paths. Why fight his instinct?
But that is just one Mother's view. It's harder to get companies and governments to think that way. So, it was refreshing to see this article discussing how some playgrounds are bringing a risk factor to their designs.
The best part of the article was reading about the risks they were bringing in: Old lumber, bricks, tires and dirt pits. I liked thinking about the way that children would quickly get over scraped knees and bruises to get back to building catapults and leaning towers.
For now, I haven't seen any of these types of playgrounds in my area. I am sure they are difficult (legally speaking) to set up. Would I let my son play in one? Yes. But I may not want to watch.
Do you let your child engage in risky play? Tell me in the comments.