Children need to learn that there are limits and boundaries. Learning this through play can help children to regulate their own behaviour towards others and the world around them.

We are all concerned for children’s safety- especially when it comes to doing things that may result in injury. However, through play, children can push their own boundaries and take controlled risks. By building up the level of risk gradually children learn what they can do safely and what is too much; how fast to go, how far from home and what it feels like to fall over and get back up again.

Rough and tumble or play fighting is actually a good way for children to learn from their peers when things are fun, when enough is enough and the reactions and rules of engagement. The rules of a game teach children about following instructions, boundaries, self-control and the fairness of decisions.

Behavioural benefits of play:
Behavioural benefits of play
  • Learn boundaries
  • Learn about risk
  • Develop self-control
  • Improve social skills
  • Regulate emotions
  • Improve physical endurance
  • Learn to try again
  • Resilience
  • Overcome fear of failure
Activities that promote these benefits:
  • Play fighting
  • Climbing frames
  • Going to the park with friends
  • Wrestling
  • Leapfrog
  • Games with rules
  • Anything that challenges a child to take physical or mental risk in a controlled environment
 Behavioural benefits of play



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