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Rough play and tumble time means that children can get rid of a bit of energy and aggression, take some risks when it comes to pushing their physical boundaries and let go a little. For many carers and parents, the idea of rough play is something that should be avoided: too dangerous, too aggressive, too uncontrolled. However, in a controlled environment, where the rules are clear, rough play can be great fun and beneficial to children.
Boys may find rough play easier than girls; they are more inclined to be physical and use gross motor skills. It gives boys a chance to get close to each other and have contact with other boys in a way that they can understand.
Aggression should be curtailed though; it's not a fight! Parents need to supervise carefully and make the rules clear. If anyone looks unhappy its turned from a fun tumble session into something that is not fun so this would need investigation
Make sure everyone has a get out clause. Make it a rule that if someone is unhappy with the game or where it is heading that they can say, "Stop, I don't like it" and the game will stop while that person gets out or steps aside for a moment. This has to be clear from the outset.
Ideas for rough and tumble play:
- Tug of war
- Skipping with ropes
- Obstacle course
- Kicking balls into a net or basket
- Running around fast and furiously
- Running races
- Bouncing on the trampoline
- Climbing trees