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Posts Tagged ‘Pooh sticks’

When our children were still at home, the surefire sign of summer’s arrival came when the kids started raiding the family supply of empty squirt bottles for water fights. Then sometimes Dennis and I joined in the fun.

Although parents usually don’t stop to analyze it, most unconsciously realize that the family feels closer when members share jokes, laughter, and hilarious play times. Research shows that laughing and playing together do even more. Good laughter also develops creativity, increases physical fitness, reduces stress and helps people manage their problems.

For families looking for a vigorous laugh workout, here are a few ways to enjoy all out bouts of rowdy, boisterous fun:

Wrestling: Little guys love to wrestle with big guys—big brothers, uncles, grandpas, dads and friends. Older brothers do need to be warned not to overdo things. It takes a well controlled use of superior strength to keep sessions rowdy and fun without little ones getting hurt. Older children need to be sensitive to younger ones’ limits in strength and endurance.

(The New Games Foundation’s slogan is good to keep in mind for all forms of rowdy fun: Play hard, play fair, nobody hurt.)

Lion hunt: Somebody big is the lion, and the children are the prey. This game involves lots of growling, roaring, and chasing (on hands and knees) on the part of the lion, with lots of hiding, squealing, and giggling on the part of the prey. Again, be sensitive—otherwise this game can get too real and terrifying for small children.

Pillow fight: Everybody whops each other with pillows.

Newspaper fights: This is a game for children who are at least kindergarten age. It looks too aggressive and scary for most toddlers and pre-schoolers even to watch, much less participate. But it is a terrific way to have a hilarious half hour with teens and pre-teens.

Give everyone in the fight a short stack of newspaper. Everyone crumples their newspapers, sheet by sheet, into balls for ammunition. Then the free-for-all begins. If the whole family participates, this fight takes lots of space. The yard is a good place for it. Be sure to have a big garbage bag on hand to clean up afterward. (more…)

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