Wrestle Ball

It all came down to this next play. Less than a minute on the clock, the ball was in my opponent’s hands. I stared him down. He made his move but I wasn’t fooled. Reaching quickly, I grabbed him and dragged him to the ground, but as he tumbled, he shouted and tossed the ball past me. His teammate, running quickly, caught it and slammed it down into the basket. “Yes!” she yelled, hands triumphantly raised.

The buzzer sounded in the kitchen. The ref called, “Dinner!” So ended another round of Wrestle Ball.

When my three boys were little, we invented games to play on the carpet of our living room. They were rough-and-tumble events – good for lots of laughing and venting pent-up energy during long winter months. We’ve resurrected them for my daughter, who delights in them just as much.

I thought I’d share two of our favorite games with you:

Wrestle Ball – create some open space on a carpet. Place a laundry basket at each end of the room. Find a soft, spongy ball. The goal is simple: each team tries to put the ball in the other team’s basket. But players are allowed to grab and hold other players – none of these dainty, no-touch rules. To keep things under control, you, as the parent, should stack the odds against yourself. Play on your knees. Against two or more kids.

Pillow Knights Attack – again, clear out space. On one end of the room, you squat down, balanced precariously on the balls of your feet. In front of you, hold a pillow with two hands. At the other end of the room, your child also holds a pillow in front, ready to charge. You yell, “Pillow Knights Attack!” Your child rushes forward and attempts to knock you backwards, while you try to deflect the attack. You’ll be surprised at how your tricky balancing act evens out the odds!

Try out our games. Or invent your own. Keep the equipment soft and the competitive spirits reigned in. The goal is not to win, but to have good, rollicking, family fun.

Gotta run – time for a rematch.

Bruce Van Patter

all material ©2006 Bruce Van Patter