In the Classroom: The Roadrunners
written by Roadrunner Teacher Danny Galpern
Rough housing around
It’s great to rough house with your child! When an adult allows a child to play energetically and offers lots of physical touch, it works magic on children.
It helps your child get out their energy, notice their connection to you, and it brings up lots of laughter. When your child laughs while playing with you, it helps them release the emotional tension of the day and be lighter and more relaxed.
Rough housing works best when the adult takes on the less powerful position in the game. Children are pretty much always in the position of being smaller and knowing less than the adults around them. They will laugh and laugh if they get to be powerful in a game.
For example, if you have a baby and they put a hand on you, you can fall backwards as if they gave you a powerful push. If your child is older, you can allow them to really push and exert themselves physically before letting yourself fall. No matter how old your child is, you will probably get them laughing hard, and they may ask to play over and over!
Experiment with different games and see what brings up the most laughter. Narrating what’s going on is a great way to sneak in ways to build up your child’s confidence, and usually brings up more laughter, too.
While letting a child push on me or wrestle me I might say “Oh boy…she’s really pushing me! Gosh her muscles are so strong! What am I going to do, I thought I was stronger!…But oh no…she’s got me down on the ground, she’s beat me!”
After a round of play where your child got to feel powerful and laugh a lot, look for your connection with your child to be stronger. They may want to snuggle with you, or tell you about something they’re really interested in.
For more information about building connection through play, you can read these articles from Hand in Hand:
- Playlistening: Play that lets children lead
- Build connection with your child through play: playlistening