As I was brainstorming for this assignment, I found it very difficult for me to find a moment where my play was overly dangerous or full of risks. This may just be that I was not a risk taker when I was a kid. I am not trying to say that play has to be full of risks to be considered play. In kindergarten, I was invited to a good friend’s house for his 5th birthday party with other children from our class. I remember being outside running around playing some sort of game. The details of the game are a little hazy. My good friend was in a wheelchair. Despite this limitation, one of his parents would push him around with us so that he was able to play with us. It was great to be able to see him having fun and participating. I was having fun at that moment. I remember laughing and running just trying to get away from whatever was coming after me. It is a great moment that I think meant a lot to the other people who had also attended the part as well as me.
Now as an adult, I can see where this type of play does influence my opinions and views today. Over the summer I was babysitting and I felt as though I was constantly trying to get the children outside to run around and get some fresh air. Instead all they wanted to do was watch TV. Eventually by the end of the summer the children I watched chose to go play outside. It was a really rewarding experience to see that once children see how much fun play actually is, then they themselves will be able to initiate it.
As with any type of play there are risks involved. Do those risks outweigh the benefit of play? No because play can increase imagination, motor skills and overall development. While running around a yard a child could fall or collide with another child. This may result in bumps, scrapes and bruises; all of which can heal. Many people would think that a child who is in a wheel chair should be kept in “safe” situations because they view them as “fragile”. However, the truth is that they are kids too, no matter what. Everyone should play at a level that is comfortable for them even if there is a small amount of risk involved.