Parents, Say "Yes" to Kids Doing Risky Things: 10 Dangerous Ideas to Consider by Mike Prochaska
Hey parents: I say, let kids try risky things! I found this great book called 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) by Gever Tulley. Here are my 10 favorite ideas from the book:
Throw giant rocks off cliffs or bridges into water to see how big of a splash they can make. I did this millions of time as a kid, and I have seen adults who don’t allow their children to do it. The first time I did this with my kids was when we were on a road trip and they needed to get out of the car. We found a place to throw giant rocks over a cliff into a river and their eyes lit up with pure joy!
Let kids stick their hands or faces out of the window of the car. It’s like exploring a wind tunnel. They open and close their hands and feel the wind pressure. (Of course, they need to be safely buckled in!)
Hammer a nail. So many people these days don’t know how to hammer nails. Hammering improves eye-hand coordination and teaches children a skill they can use in the future.
Burn something with a magnifying glass. Ever try this? You just put the magnifying glass in the sun and it provides you with a focused beam of heat that can burn paper, leaves and even melt plastic. I remember melting my toys on the sidewalk on a warm summer day!
Strong swimmers can jump from high into a calm river or lake. Of course, you should first make sure that the water is deep enough and there's no current. The first time I did this was in Colorado, and the feeling of excitement was like no other. Not just children should experience this – all people, young and old. (Wear your life vest and water shoes!)
Put a penny on railroad tracks and wait for a train to run it over. After the train safely passes by, see if you can find it. Of course, you need to make sure kids are safe and far away from the tracks when the train comes. I did this with my kids one day while waiting for Mom at the train station. We found one of the three pennies we had left, flattened by the train. (This isn't safe on rapid transit train systems such as the "L" in Chicago, which utilizes an electrified "third rail.")
Ride a bike over a homemade bike ramp. Making a bike ramp and the feeling of danger it gives kids as they ride their bikes over it is so freeing. The feeling of flying through the air and a sense of danger is something kids should experience (wearing helmets and safety pads, of course!).
Play with fire. My kids are only 5 and 6, so I only let them play with fire while we roast marshmallows and make s’mores. They get so excited when the marshmallows catch on fire and they have to blow them out. With older kids, I could see giving them more freedom to try and build the fire, etc.
Shoot a slingshot. Slingshots can provide hours of fun and they’re a great way to introduce firearm safety – like don’t point it at anyone, ever. I bought my son a slingshot and he loves to shoot rocks over the hills at Grandma’s house.
Climb a rope. I learned that most schools don’t have ropes for children to climb in gym anymore. Kids should climb ropes for strength, agility and fun!
It's about taking calculated risks, keeping safety first always. What risky things do you allow your kids to do??
Editor's note: Kids should be supervised at all times. Each child is unique, so use common sense and your own discretion when considering the types of age-appropriate activities your child participates in. Only you know your child and what makes sense for him or her to try. Safety first! As always, this information is provided for entertainment purposes only. The views expressed in this post are those of the author, and not necessarily those of 30Second Mobile.
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Bicycle Ramps $10 & Up
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And this goes double for girls, who tend to be "protected" from "dangerous" behavior more than boys.
Jumping from a cliff into a river makes my skin crawl, though I'm a good swimmer. I know of too many terrible accidents on nearby river over here.
"Kids should be supervised at ALL times."
Really??? I disagree. Kids are entirely too supervised these days. They need opportunities to try and to succeed, or even to try and to fail, all without the watchful eye of parents. They need to know what those two feelings are like without parental commentary and observation. They need to take the consequences of their actions as they come, both good and bad. It's how they grow and gain confidence!
Constant hovering inhibits our children. We do them a disservice.
The editor's note feels more like a CYA for the website than something that should be taken seriously. I know I certainly won't! :)
Playing “Mumbly Peg”, a simple game played with a penknife involving trying to flip the knife so that it lands point down into the dirt..if you miss you have to get down on your knees and with your mouth only try to remove a small Peg( stick or tree twig) which is imbedded into the ground.
StockCar Racing with bikes where we would outline in chalk a very large outline of a race track including “oil slicks” made out of sand or dirt.
Making slingshots out of rubber bands and paper clips ..may have caused some pain when hit with one but never lost any eyes.
And lastly for now, actually playing out in the snow building snow forts and having snowball fights. Look at the streets now after a snowfall and a day off from school...nobody out playing anymore..streets are deserted...very sad.
I'm a big believer in enjoying life to the fullest. A few years ago, I went skydiving in Cuba and the kids were on the beach watching me - waiting for me to land. You're more likely to hear me say 'try it!' 'You can do it!!' Than 'oh no!... that's too dangerous' I want them to be confident in their own capabilities. I also know that they're bound to try these things anyways, may as well teach them how to enjoy risky play - safely.
Me jumping. In case you want to watch Mike! :)
it's as easy not picking them up when they fall :)