Roughhousing: Do Try These at Home

The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It, by psychologist Larry Cohen, Ph.D., and physician Anthony DeBenedet, M.D., describes more than 60 activities for parents and kids, including these author favorites:

Steamroller – Lie on your back with your child lying on your stomach. Wrap your arms around her and roll, making sure to put your weight on your elbows so she doesn’t get squished. (Toddlers)

Whacky Whirling Dervish – Have your child take off his shoes and raise his arms. Take his hands, step back a little (so that he tilts toward you at a 45-degree angle) and start swinging him in a circle. At first, he’ll slide on the floor in his socks but, gradually, his body will lift off the floor as you spin him around. (Ages 3 to 7)

Peter Parker – Have the child run diagonally toward a wall and try to walk a few steps up that wall. A parent spots the child to catch him as he comes down or help him get altitude. (Ages 8 and up)

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– Deirdre Wilson