Free Day and Games: Bubbles and Balls

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Photo by Johann Rösch on Unsplash

You`ve earned another day off, as we have reached the end of this week. Here are some more ideas on how to integrate the learning experience into everyday life - and play.

Toys

Toys can have a huge impact on your child`s movement development. Children usually pick toys they can handle easily - a child that is mostly sitting in a W-Position and cannot lean well on its hands usually prefers small toys that it can hold with both hands and bent elbows - this way it doesn`t have to move in space much.

If you want to get your child into rolling and moving, make sure the surface it is lying on is not too soft - this encourages movement (this involves the movement of the eyes). Orientation is necessary for successful movement. Try to offer toys that are moving in space - balls, toy cars, balloons. If you want to improve two hands and arms working together, pick very large toys that cannot be held with one hand alone. For crawling, instead of reminding a child how to do it "properly" (one leg after the other, instead of pulling two legs forward at a time), I add little steps or let the child crawl over my legs: I am adapting the environment in a way that the habitual movements don`t work anymore. This also allows me to help, instead of correcting a child.

To crawl well, children have to be able to move their spine while standing on all fours. Dragging toys between their hands and knees with the kid looking at them will support this movement.

Most children that are insecure walking in a walker will do much better if you just place a ball - or a balloon, which moves more slowly - in front of its legs: they will want to kick it forward. Walking then happens "by coincidence".

Orientation in space

Among my favored toys are soap bubbles, especially the ones that can be "touched" and don`t burst easily. These bubbles have the movement quality I am looking for - soft and smooth. They are beautiful, and children turn to them automatically. They are all around - this encourages orientation in space. Their constant movement trains the movements of the eyes and neck. Children aren`t struggling too hard or putting too much effort into their movement when playing with them, there is no need for it. If I hold a standing child by the hand, it will use the other to reach for the soap bubbles, moving the arms independently and reaching out (and balancing itself while doing so).

I end my lessons by letting the child play with bubbles (especially if they are already standing) - it is a wonderful way to integrate all the movements we did into the child`s movement repertoire.