Just Plain Wrestling
Ages: 2 and Up</br>Difficulty: EasyEssential Skills: Resistance, Self-HandicapWrestling is all about rolling up your sleeves, taking off your tie, and getting down on the floor with your kids. On the surface, wrestling appears to be a form of combat, but at its heart, it’s all about connecting. It’s fluid, interactive, and constantly moving. The Japanese word judo, the name of the martial art that most closely resembles wrestling, literally translates as “gentle way.” The key to wrestling is to make it a roughly equal match. (That means you hold back when your children are young; as they get older, you step up; and once they can take you, they take a turn at holding back.) If you’re taller than your child, start out on your knees or on all fours while he stands. Roll around and grapple together. Take him down, and then allow him to take you down. Stick to pushing, pulling, and rolling. Stay away from lifting, hitting, kicking, body slams, headlocks, or flying elbows. Roughhousing wrestles can be free-form, or they can have specific goals, such as the following:* Pin the opponent’s shoulder to the ground for a predetermined length of time. Make your child really exert herself to keep you down for the count.* Take turns working to move past each other to reach a finish point on the other side of the room.* Have your opponent start on all fours while you try to flatten her, either face-up or facedown.* Push each other out of a specified area, such as a ring on the carpet made from rolled-up sheets or scarves.