rough play


So far the school year is going great – except for a few behavioral issues.  The main issue I’m trying to deal with (unsuccessfully so far) is that my boys (about 6 of them) and a couple of my girls really like to play rough!  And by this I mean:  pushing, pulling, punching, hitting, kicking, wrestling, pretend swords, guns, lasers, knives, bombs, “webs” etc.  I’m at my wits end.  No matter what I do – they insist on playing this way, and ultimately, one or more of them gets hurt!  I’ve talked to them, and their parents, tried time-outs, tried not letting them play together, tried coming up with new ideas for games they could play and more – but it keeps up.

I’ve never had a class where the majority of children play this way.  Usually it’s just a few and once they see the other kids don’t want to play like that they stop on their own.  This years class is a different breed!  So, I need some ideas and suggestions from all of you!  What do you do about rough play?  Do you allow it?  And if so, what are you’re rules?  How do you address this issue?  Any ideas and suggestions are more then welcomed!  🙂


About deepbluetide

I am a pre-kindergarten teacher at a private christian school. I work mornings with 4 year olds (most of whom enter my class in July still being 3 - they're babies!) and then in the afternoon work "daycare" - which is basically my own class combined with 5 year old children. One things for sure - it's never dull! I had no idea growing up I would be teaching pre-k today! It took me totally off guard - but in the end I wouldn't change a thing! I have worked with children whose age range is 6 weeks through 12 years. In the end I have decided that my current age group is my favorite! And in case you were wondering - all names mentioned are changed to protect the identities of those involved. Enjoy!

2 responses »

  1. I am having the same issue in my class. I am going to talk about friendship this week and I am going to read a book How Full is Your Bucket? for kids by Tom Rath. I am going to talk about how words and actions in filling up our buckets. I am going to have a bucket and have different actions words to sort to put in our buckets. I think it will work. As far as weapons I remind children all day that we do not have weapons at school. If being by that friends makes u have weapons then I am going to have to move you and choose a different center for you. It works for a bit and then I repeat my self and move the child. A lot children are starting to catch each other and remind them that we don’t have weapons at school. We made a list of rules and I bring children to poster and remind them about the rules we made so that we can have a safe classroom. I always tell them that is my job to keep all the children in the classroom safe and playing fighting games is not allowed then I would not be keeping them safe for their moms and dads. I hope this helps

  2. We need to give kids safe ways to touch each other and be active with their bodies. I was having trouble with these issues about 5 years ago and then I instituted a systematic PE program for my kids that focuses on learning about their “body bubbles” and giving them equipment that involves cooperation and physical exertion. We have hula hoops to define our space, large rubber exercise bands to stretch by ourselves and together, pompom balls that can be tossed hard and won’t hurt and scarves and flexible frisbees. I have a couple of CD’s that I use and I teach each lesson for only about 5 minutes a day building their capacity but also allowing them to get out all the real energy they feel.

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