This article is part of our Member Blog Series, which showcases Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative Members' efforts and commitment to ensure that play is a critical element in the lives of people of all ages. Each month, a different member organization will share their take on how play is a part of the work they do. The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative hopes that these stories of play from our diverse set of member organizations will encourage and inspire leaders in communities, businesses, schools, and families to prioritize play every day.
Fresh air...freedom...time to let your mind wander...an inexplicable sense of joy...play. The definition and essence may vary from person to person, but play is an activity for both growth and recreation. Children are naturals at embracing play but with adulthood, a sharpened sense of awareness seems to complicate the matter as grown-ups may look to minimize “risky play"
There is growing debate over whether children should be permitted to experience potential risk in play, or if safety truly does “come first”. Outdoor and physical play encourage children to find and explore personal boundaries. As children test their limits, risk is imminent. No parent wants to expose their child to potential danger, but it is developmentally appropriate for children to experience and explore risk while playing (with proper supervision) so they can learn to manage it.