This post is sponsored by Goodevas.
The development of gross motor skills is essential for children all year round. Simple things like going for a nature walk preferably on uneven surfaces, running up mounds of grass, climbing trees or balancing on tree logs are all wonderful ways children can explore the outside world while developing gross motor skills.
But how can children develop their gross motor skills while inside? We can set up a fun obstacle course think jumping through hoops, climbing through indoor tunnels, and throwing mini bean bags. We can set up a fort, perhaps using a blanket, couch or bed.
Lots of families also choose to use indoor climbing equipment. Arches, triangles, climbing frames and playhouses can provide a safe but challenging environment for children to develop essential skills like climbing, reaching, balancing and testing limits.
Using climbing equipment (of any kind) can help our children develop proprioceptive (where our bodies are) and vestibular (balance/gravity) senses. They can help children develop skills required for good risk-taking, and this can help later on when the risk increases. A child who has learnt to successfully climb an arch or triangle may be better prepared to climb a tree.
Indoor climbing equipment also provides an opportunity for children to use their gross motor skills throughout the day, early in the morning or before bed, whenever they choose. It provides opportunities for freedom of movement when the child needs it. If your three-year-old wants to climb, but it’s stormy outside, or they have a sibling napping, it’s easy for them to use an indoor climbing frame.
I also love indoor climbing frames or playhouses as a way for children to explore their bodies incidentally throughout the day. The child may like to hang upside down while reading a book or tell their doll a long story while balancing at the top of an arch or just hang from a swing in the middle of the day. It’s lots of incidental play and movements that add up.
I can also see that all this hanging, reaching and grasping helps to develop upper body strength, including developing muscles in the fingers, hands and arms, preparing the hands for writing.
Climbing frames and playhouses can be fun to use outside too. It can be difficult to find developmentally appropriate outdoor climbing equipment for young children, and these wood versions by Goodevas are aesthetically pleasing too.
Goodevas have climbing frame sets, that include a triangle, ladder, arch, slide and net, and awesome indoor wooden playhouses. All of the sets are currently in stock, with fast 2-4 business day delivery to the US and UK. Goodevas are offering a 10% discount for readers using the code HOWWEMONTESSORI at the Goodeva checkout! Now is a good time to order before the holiday season rush.