Embrace the chaos

Simon A Harling
2 min readMay 8, 2022


Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

If you spent your sporting childhood standing in line, waiting your turn to follow the instructions. What can you teach your kid about exploring movement through play?

Kid centric and it’s about fun, participation, and engagement. Coach centric, and you wait in line for your turn, while your coach gets her point across. One requires you to be very comfortable with chaos and the other is about control.

Leave skipping ropes on the floor of the playground and some kids will learn to skip. Follow this framework and the same thing will happen, some kids will through structured sessions learn to skip.

If you have kids between the ages of 6–9 years old who can’t skip (a few of mine can’t) and can’t jump backward, sideways, and forwards with control. Freeplay may not be the answer, as they are simply not engaged enough. It is equally, difficult to imagine that you will have many kids wanting to spend their time in line waiting their turn to jump.

But, what you can do, is do your best to try to turn the lights on for those kids. Show them what is possible. First through structure, if that is what it takes until you find a way to cover the skills required, in a more playful way.

Today I used, follow my leader and partner mirror drills to help me. The error rate was high and it felt chaotic.

And that might just be the point. We are all learning how to play together.