The Basic Idea
Rough and tumble is full of rich learning opportunities, and creating a specific space for it can help create boundaries and let wee ones clearly show when they want to be involved.
Over To You, Wee One
Clear a space of any furniture or breakables(!) and use pillows or a blanket to create a soft floor. Introduce words like “I need space” so you can both tell each other when to stop or back off. You can start with rolling, tickling, or balancing their weight on yours.
- Social skills – consent, boundaries
- Exploring their position in physical space
- Learning about their bodies – their own strength, and how they can express themselves safely
- Builds trust and bonding
- If space is tight, or you have lots of breakables, create a clearly defined “safe” space outside instead
- Think about how you wind down, slow down movements and ease into something more gentle and calm.
Physical play isn’t just for Dads! The trust and communication you can build when exploring big, physical movements together is amazing, and often develops afterwards into gentler play.