Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days of Play! Roughhousing!

Jumping on Daddy!
Our little Beansprout LOVES roughhousing! He gets so excited when he can run around the living room and leap into Daddy's arms, only to be thrown overhead like Superman.  "More, more, more" are the words that often follow this play. Climbing, twirling, and flying bring out the biggest smiles in our guy. He also loves to see his dad get "stuck" upside down on the armchair. He's supposed to "help" Daddy get unstuck, but I think he often gets so caught up in the fun of Matt doing these physical antics that he forgets his job! Besides, it's much more fun to climb on top of Daddy on top of the chair! Beansprout has been a digger, an airplane, Superman, a helicopter - you name it, he is thrilled to play his part. I think a lot of parents are afraid to do this roughhouse kind of play with their kids today - we often worry we'll hurt them and the one-in-a-million story of something going awry is always in the back of our heads. I know Matt and I were both pretty cautious with Beansprout when he was younger. Luckily for him, he's grown! He's feeling less like you could break him in half with one wrong move and so roughhousing is almost a daily part of our play routine. I always thought it was a great way to get out energy and have some fun, but it turns out there's much more to roughhousing than a good laugh! The New York Times interview of two authors who wrote the book, The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Kids Need It, gives a great summary of some of the key reasons we should be interacting with our kids this way.  The article focuses mostly on dads, but offers some quick insights into the benefits of playing rough.  Two of my personal favorites are that it means your child is more in tune with you and that it helps him regulate his emotions better!  Ahhh, the science behind everyday, ordinary play.

Each time I write a post on play, I can't help but think of my own childhood experiences!  Do you remember how fun it was to jump around on your parents?  I even remember having a blast with my cousins as we all attacked our uncles at the family Christmas party!  What are some of your memories?  Do you roughhouse with the children in your lives?  Do you think it's just for dads?

This makes seven days of writing about play!  Phew!  I'm 1/4 of the way there :)  Check out my others posts and an explanation of the challenge here.  Thanks for being a part of this fun opportunity to explore play!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the action shots!!! I can hear him giggling through the pictures!!! :) Megan