When Normal Roughhousing Isn’t Enough

  by Erik Wolgemuth

This was clearly a situation where wrestling was the answer.

We were at the waning hours of a long day of work, school, and some outdoor activities, but before getting into the bedtime procedures (perhaps including some face smooshing), I could tell that some energy expenditure – in the form of wrestling – would do us all some good. (Yes, dad included.) Some nights just call for it.

Now, wrestling can clearly take many different, wonderful forms (don’t miss the insights of some fellow dads on the topic), and one particular form we’ve enjoyed and haven’t been able to get away from recently is what we like to simply call “Activate.”

Activate has its roots in the delightful cartoon Wild Kratts, wherein two brothers (last name, Kratt) help and rescue animals. Not content with a simple rescue, the Kratts use technologically advanced “creature power suits” that can transform them into the same species they’re rescuing. This happens when a “creature power disc” is inserted into the suit, a button is pressed, and a Kratt yells, “Activate [animal] power!”

And so, Activate is an enjoyable mash-up of WrestleMania with the Wild Kratts. Each wrestling contestant activates a creature power (by, of course, yelling that magical “Activate [animal] power!!!” phrase in a warrior voice) and then wages the battle royale as that animal. Until, of course, a new animal is called upon and rapid activation and transformation occurs.

We discovered after a few rounds of Activate that the animal kingdom is wonderfully diverse in unique wrestling advantages. Cheetah power allows for tremendous speed. Buffalo power, while slightly lumbering, is a difficult animal to bring down. Crocodile power is understated and then explosive and powerful. Python power involves squeezing. Crab power pinches. Sloth power is super slow-mo attacking. And, my personal favorite, walrus power involves an amusing (yet highly effective) two-fold blubber attack (squishing) followed by whisker attack.

There are depths to plumb when it comes to wrestling with your kids, so explore and experiment, and perhaps along the way enjoy a few rounds of Activate.


Renaissance children dad, Mark Foreman, is another proponent of wrestling … it’s quite possible the guys frontlining Switchfoot (Mark’s sons) would dig Activate wrestling.

Picture by Valerie; Used via Creative Commons license.