John Morgan

Why rough play is OK

The ‘rough and tumble’ of play has an important role in child development when facilitated safely, writes John Morgan

Rough play - or 'playful aggression' - is important for child development, research shows

There’s a whirlwind of kicks and chops sweeping across the playground as a cast of miniature Marvel heroes and villains wage an epic playfight. The teacher on duty huffs, “What are they doing?” and marches over to stop it all. If the Incredible Hulk gets a little too excitable, then Red Skull’s wobbly tooth may be forcefully and painfully removed ahead of schedule. And that would be a very difficult conversation with Red Skull’s mum and dad.

But is intervening to stop rough play actually a good idea? Despite it being common to do so in most primary schools, there is a strong argument to ...

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