A lot of you have been wondering – what is rough and tumble play?
We have been using the term more often here in Shale as our interest in movement grows. Generally, the term rough and tumble play has a negative connotation attached to it; however, in the early childhood setting we work to embrace the behaviour and encourage it in a safe, supportive environment.
Rough and tumble play has been defined as physically vigorous behaviors, such as chase and play fighting, that are accompanied by positive feelings between the players involved. This behaviour is social in nature and characterized as a positive emotion. All ages engage in forms of rough and tumble play and it will look different at each age. It is likely that you as families even interact in rough and tumble in your own home.
In shale, our rough and tumble play looks like:
These movements and actions are all being experienced together positively with a play partner within the space – this includes the adults that are joining play. It’s important to remember that each child and play partner has their own level of comfort and safety. As educators and as parents, it’s important to roll model appropriate behaviours and boundaries when engaging in rough and tumble play. This will help the children understand their own boundaries and the boundaries of others.
Rough and tumble play has so many benefits to a child’s development. The Alberta Curriculum Framework also discusses the importance of physical play in their section on Well-Being.
“Children explore body and movement.
- Participating in a variety of physical activities, indoor and out.
- Learning about their bodies in space.
- Increasing bodily awareness, control, strength, agility, and large motor coordination.
- Increasing fine motor capacities.
- Knowing and stretching physical limits.
- Releasing and restoring energy.”
Makovichuk, L., Hewes, J., Lirette, P., & Thomas, N. (2014). Play, participation, and possibilities: An early learning and child care curriculum framework for Alberta. Retrieved from page 96.
Aside from physical development, we are also gaining valuable social skills such as:
- Self-Regulatory skills
- Emotional understanding
- Positive peer relationships and social behavior
- Encoding and decoding of social signals (social competence)
- Social organization and social skills
- Safe practice for confrontations in the future
- Encourages problem solving
In shale we are working towards this interactive play and understand each child’s individual comfort levels and understanding. This is encouraging our independence and building vastly on our interest in movement. Through rough and tumble play we are providing the children a safe, positive environment to practice social understanding and build healthy muscle control and movement.
How do you interact and encourage rough and tumble play at home?
Young, Sarah, Cassi and Michelle