Offering chances for movement in children is so important. In their early years there’s so much body learning going on that sets the stage for movement in adult life. Here’s a look at some of conventional gross motor toys we have in our home.
Pikler Triangle and Ramp
This one’s for all the toddlers that love to climb. A 2 sided climbing apparatus that promotes balance and upwards movement. We’ve added a ramp to ours to allow Havvie to take it slowly. She started engaging with this at 18 months and at 2 years is able to get upto the second last rung. I suspect we’ll be using the pikler for a few years to come as she works out how to get around to the other side. It can also be used in many other ways such as a nook as you can see in the photo.
For Havvie’s second birthday she received a balance bike. This is a great investment as it’ll teach Havvie the skill of balancing and hopefully build up her gross motor confidence. There’s no pedals like a traditional trike as the idea is that Havvie can learn balancing and steering making it easier to progress to a real bike where you just have to learn pedaling.
Another great gross motor activity that requires a little more focus and concentration. This is easy to DIY at home with some masking tape on the floor. I’ve put two beams together and will eventually move to just one beam when I feel Havvie is ready.
You can see there’s a bit of a theme happening here in relation to balancing. The Wobbel is a traditional balance board. Children and adults can both use it and it relies on people working with their centre of gravity for balance. We’ve used it the right way up for just that. We’ve also flipped it upside down and used it as a climbing hill, a slide, a table and imaginary play too.
There’s many ways to promote movement. You don’t need to have any toys at all. In my next post I take a look at the unconventional gross motor toys we have at home which we use just as much.