Young children gravitate towards opportunities to engage in varied forms of play. Physical interactions during play, while thoroughly enjoyable, can be complex and difficult for adults to interpret, particularly when play appears to be aggressive. Although often misinterpreted as aggression, rough and tumble play affords unique opportunities for the development of physical, social and cognitive competency. This presentation will illustrate research on rough and tumble play and consider the distinct behavioural expressions of young children in early childhood settings. Perspectives of educators and families who appraise, consider, and intervene in guiding the play will be examined as rough and tumble play is considered within a framework of normative child growth and development.