June 14, 2012 Kerala Taylor

What's your favorite memory of playing with dad?

Did you ever used to roughhouse with Dad? You may not have known it at the time, but according to the National Institute for Play, he was teaching you valuable life skills, like "social awareness, cooperation, fairness and altruism." He was also helping you learn to regulate your feelings and behavior.

When outlining the benefits to children of having involved fathers, ChildWelfare.gov points out, "Fathers spend a much higher percentage of their one-on-one interaction with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers." And it is through play, says Mike Hall, founder of Strong Fathers-Strong Families, that "fathers can better control the laboratory that helps children learn to deal with the frustration and anxiety that accompany true learning."

But you and Dad were just having fun, which is of course the most widely appreciated benefit of play. Unlike math homework, it never felt like learning. In honor of Father's Day, let's take a moment to celebrate the joys (and frustrations?) of playtime with Dad.

Take a moment to share with us your favorite memory of playing with Dad in the comments section below.

We'll feature our three favorite comments on our blog and send the commenters a free copy of our new Go Out and Play! book, a collection of great outdoor games!

parent perspective, play outdoors, roughhouse, father, dad, rough and tumble play, father's day