As any exhausted parent will tell you, kids have a lot of energy. They love to run, jump, climb, wrestle, and tumble around, fueled by a seemingly limitless supply of energy. What drives the inexhaustible engines of our beloved little curtain climbers? As it turns out, kids' urge to horseplay and roughhouse isn't accidental-in fact, it may be a biologically necessary part of healthy child development.
In their book, The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It, authors Anthony T. DeBenedet, MD and Lawrence J. Cohen make the case that horseplay makes kids smarter by releasing a chemical that stimulates neuron growth in certain regions of the brain. Horseplay is also important for social development and emotional intelligence, and can strengthen ethical and moral behavior, say the authors.
As a society, we've progressively moved away from allowing time for horseplay and physical activity, even limiting or removing physical education programs in some schools, altogether. Understandably, we don't want our kids to get hurt, which is inevitable to some extent when it comes to horseplay. But allowing kids to get physical is important, and it's a fact: horseplay is just plain fun.
But ... Horseplay and Roughhousing Have Their Time and Place
That said, horseplay has its proper time and place. Roughhousing can lead to injuries, especially around the pool. Parents throwing a pool party for their kids are concerned not only about the safety of their own kids, but other kids, as well. Here are some tips for keeping partygoers engaged while minimizing roughhousing at your next pool party:
- Have a schedule of events planned
Having a steady schedule of events planned including swimming pool games like Marco Polo will help keep kids engaged and focused while they're having fun. This can help minimize horseplay that sometimes leads to injuries, especially slip and fall injuries, which are common around the swimming pool. Keeping soft, inflatable swimming pool toys for kids in the pool that they can bat around, like beach balls and pool floats, allows kids to burn off energy in a safe way.
- Set ground rules from the get go
Make a brief announcement before the fun begins that running around the pool is not allowed, as it can be dangerous. You may also consider roping off the deep end of the pool and announcing that the deep end is off limits.
- Be diligent about pool safety
Make sure at least one adult is watching over kids at the pool at all times. Consider taking a life-saving CPR course or having a CPR-trained adult at the party.
By establishing some simple rules and creating a steady schedule of fun events, kids will be entertained and engaged without the necessity of a trip to the ER!
Barry Parker is a researcher and project manager custom paper writing service. He has been working as a marketing/technical expertise writer with some major product campaigns for the EDU sector, private industry and governmental organizations. Conducted research and development of scientific assessment items across a range of fields and subject areas. Synthesized research from hundreds of scholarly articles from a wide range of disciplines.