This paper focuses upon the developmental role of Rough and Tumble (R&T) play with particular attention to the narratives that children use to underpin such activities, and to gender differences within these. The empirical research focused upon the R&T play of children in the early years department of a suburban primary school in Northern England. The children's playtime activities were ethnographically observed over a period of eighteen calendar months, encompassing five school terms. The effects of evolution, biology and culture are recognized in the approach taken to the analysis of data. Findings indicated that the narratives underpinning R&T play were socially complex and highly gendered, and that mixed gender R&T play in particular could be theorized to mirror and simplify aspects of complex, gendered adult interaction.
- Rough and tumble play
- Social development