by Talya Metz January 11, 2022 3 min read
Children require gross motor movement every single day.
Not just because they need to burn off energy but because it’s absolutely necessary to develop their Vestibular System.
It’s located in the inner and middle ear and helps sort the sensory information that we receive from the outside world pertaining to vision, sound, balance, and the placement of our bodies.
They need movement that moves the fluid in the inner ear around in every direction.
For children under 18 months, they need movements like:
For children over 18 months, they need movements like:
Without this type of movement regularly, children may become more clumsy and have more difficulty controlling fine and gross motor movements.
For infants, allow for plenty of time to move freely on a blanket on the floor. The movements that occur while babywearing will also help to develop the Vestibular System.
For children under 18 months, it’s as simple as following your child’s lead. Children this age want to move so simply provide the guidance and support they need to do it. If they want to climb to the top of a Pikler or even the stairs, follow their lead, and stay close by.
For children over 18 months, create time every day for movement and unstructured, gross motor play.
And not only unstructured play but risky play, where their physical movements involve uncertainty and experimentation.
You can do things like:
Allowing children to get the vestibular input their bodies need, will support the development of aware, connected, problem solvers who understand their own unique capabilities and are deeply connected to the world around them.
Our friends at Roots 2 Rise Outdoors in Toronto have a wonderful outdoor program focused on the development of the whole child. Their program takes place in natural spaces around the GTA that invite exploratory, child-initiated play. Children are taught to appropriately assess risk and appreciate the beauty of nature. If you have children between the ages 2-10 we highly recommend checking them out!
We also offer a collection of wonderful indoor climbers that bring gross motor activities into your home and create a space for exploration and developmentally appropriate play.
The Montessori Climbing Triangle and ramp, the Multifold, the balance board, the Waldorf Rocker all give children opportunities to learn, play and grow at a pace that feels good for them, in the comfort of their own home.
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