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Risky Play

Kid Playing Outdoor

Active energetic/risky play is defined as thrilling and exciting play and is a form of play that involves a risk of physical injury. Providing children with opportunities to engage in energetic active play allows children to develop their awareness of risk and how to regulate their risk taking play according to their fear and ability (Sandseter, 2009). Motivated by the force of knowingly participating in play that involves risk encourages children to become familiar with their environment, boundaries, and how they will handle future risk.


Alberta Culture and Tourism provided the EYLRT with a grant in March of 2016, to explore active energetic or risky play for preschool children in child care. To date, we have engaged over thirteen hundred stakeholders to explore potential gaps or inconsistencies in the implementation and interpretation of policies and regulations.


Position Statement from Canadian Paediatric Society

On January 25, 2024, the Canadian Paediatric Society announced a position statement on Risky Play and the various benefits of risky play on children's health and well-being. 

Dive into the exhilarating world of outdoor risky play with the Canadian Paediatric Society! Uncover the groundbreaking insights that redefine adventure and challenge conventional wisdom about children's safety. From climbing trees to exploring new terrain, this captivating article reimagines outdoor play as essential for child development. Join us as we embark on a journey to embrace risk, ignite curiosity, and unleash the boundless potential of our youth. Dare to discover the thrill of outdoor exploration – read on and let the adventure begin!

EYPLRT's Work on Risky Play

Image by Lorene Farrugia

Exploring Active Energetic Play in

Alberta Child Care Centres

This study was conducted to better understand potential

barriers to providing active energetic/risky play by hearing

the perspectives of ECEs, parents, licensing officers, health

inspectors, and owners and operators across Alberta.

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