This Internet book does not include any tosses, flips, throws, or falls. Whenever possible the plays are presented in the sitting or kneeling positions, rather than standing up, in order to keep the child close to the ground.
In each subsection of the video the plays are arranged in order of increasing difficulty. For example, in the section on swings, the easier swings precede the harder swings. In addition several cross-reference guides have been prepared suggesting which plays to do at each age and experience level.
The authors believe that these Family Plays are safe for adults to do with preschool children age 2-5, when done as described in this video by healthy individuals with reasonable care.
However, the reader must recognize that certain risks are involved in doing Family Plays. Family Plays entail motion and must be done with care. Also, children and adults vary greatly in their abilities.
Therefore these Family Plays are offered as suggestions only. If any doubt exists in your mind whether these plays are appropriate either for you or for your child, you should check with your doctor before doing them.
To avoid an accident the following rules must be observed:
1) Do not toss your child. Throwing your child into the air and then attempting to catch your child before he or she hits the ground has led to many accidents. Anyway, with tosses the child's screams are usually sighs of relief, not joy.
2) Make sure that you understand the difference between Family Plays and acrobatics. Young children are not ready for flips and throws.
3) Do not push your child into doing any play he or she does not want to do. If a play is too scary, do not do it. Wait a few months and try again. LET YOUR CHILD PICK THE PLAYS.
4) Do not do Family Plays beyond your child's attention span or if he or she is not in the mood. Children will not want to do Family Plays for about two weeks just after they get sick.
5) Always be aware of your child's head. Support it when necessary. When holding your child upside down, let your child down gently, so the child's head is not hit.
6) Do Family Plays on a soft surface. Do them on a rug, or on a blanket spread on the floor, or on an exercise mat, or on the grass, or on the sand at the beach. If you wish, do the plays on a bed mattress which you have put on the floor.
7) Do not swing preschoolers by their hands or arms. Young children have weak joints. Instead, hold children under their armpits.
8) If you are pregnant, or if you are out of shape, or if you are not in good health, or if for any reason you do not feel comfortable doing any play, do not do it. Our bodies have a wonderful non-verbal way of protecting us. When they balk, it is usually for a good reason.
9) Select Family Plays which are right for you. Use common sense. There are lots of plays in this video to choose from.
10) If you have a weak back, do not do the plays which involve lifting. Even if you are in good health, never try to lift children who are too heavy for you. In general, do not lift by yourself any child older than four, whether you are a man or a woman. Gradeschool children should be told not to try to lift their younger siblings.