B. is a very active child and he has been even more when younger. He used to run around and play without stopping, evidently tired and asking to pause and rest next to us; however, he was unable to stop for more then two seconds, literally. Now he can stay still for few minutes when he needs, and I still try to reinforce calmness also in movement activities and strengthening muscles.
I put most of the movement sources in the basket; those which do not fit are on the shelf next to the basket, and those which do not fit the shelf are around the apartment.
Rhythmic gymnastics ribbon. B. loved twirling before I purchased a ribbon, now he got it to a higher level. Sometimes we need to “work” with the ribbon while B. is doing his own things around it. Sometimes it is a concrete pump, sometimes a spray and sometimes it needs to go back on the shelf, because B. tries to reach things with it.
Scarves. The white one is made of silk and the red one is a belly dance hip scarf. With the hip scarf he joins me to belly dance or he asks me to play belly dance music for him and dance together. He likes the sound the coins make every time he moves. And a silk scarf has been anything – wings of the butterfly, peekaboo hiding scarf, source for which object is missing game, hide and seek shelter…
Yoga book. It is a book in Slovak language by K. Hodničová and I purchased it for 1 € in our local library when B. was a baby. It includes photographs and explanations of yoga poses, stories and poems written by Slovak primary schools pupils. B. usually turns pages, names the pose and I exercise. It is his idea of exercise in two.
Poem cards. Some time ago I made several poem cards. These are related to movement so I placed them in our movement basket.
Movement cards. These materials – Healthy feet and Movement alphabet – are in Slovak language created by Marcela Kramplová. Both sets of cards contain photographs of a children demonstrating an exercise, descriptions of exercises poems and illustrations related to exercises. Very engaging materials which B. chooses probably most often. You can check them here and here.
Overball. It is an anti-burst ball with a load capacity 100 kg. It is perfect for throwing, catching, bouncing and kicking in B.’s room. And B. likes also the possibility of sitting on the ball.
Fitness ball. I let B. to exercise on a fitness ball for his tummy time when he was a baby. He also rolled it around when he could crawl. But as he started to walk the fitness ball was a source of several falls as it did not offer him stability he needed at that time. Recently we reintroduced it and he throws himself on the ball and enjoys it bounces. He also uses it as a drum or a football ball.
Balls. Many kinds of balls – wooden, fabric, plastic, rubber – massaging ball, floorball ball, golf ball, tennis ball – soft, hard, spiky, squishy, with holes, with bumps, smooth… B. loves rolling balls since he was several months old and could “chase” balls around the room. Although B. has many other things that move, he likes to come back to balls and roll them around.
Other movement equipment
Pikler triangel. I have decided to buy a Pikler triangel with a slide more then a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic reached our country and all the playgrounds were closed. I wanted to provide B. with opportunities to climb and slide indoors. It is used daily and it has so many purposes – a ladder to B.’s crib, a shelter, a toy storage, etc. Ours is made by MonToy and links to the products are here and here.
Rocker. I purchased a rocker by Angel Dog when B. was learning to walk, he used it as a walker at first. He even climbed on it and probably rocking was the last thing he enjoyed about it. Now it is also a bed for his dolls.
Sensory mat. I have flat feet which is sometimes painful so I decided to exercise and stimulate my feet. I found this sensory mat with massaging balance boards by Barewood which is loved by all the members of our family. The mat is adjustable, all the pieces can be moved and rebuild differently. We used to have family sessions when we rebuilt the mat and practiced walking on it. I call the balance boards “tickling boards” as they are spiky and because of that B. was afraid to step on them.
We use movement activities and equipment almost every day. Sometimes I am the one bringing it out, sometimes it is B. We usually exercise in two, sometimes I am the only one. One way or another I enjoy it!
I consider it crucial to be able to calm down after much excitement. I created a calming basket for us.