Physical Development

Scooters and balance bikes; directed play for pre-school children

I have had several conversations with family and friends in the past week as we all begin to consider the easing of the lockdown.  Talk quickly turned to the results of our enforced confinement and a positive on which we all agreed was the one hour-a-day outdoor exercise.  It has been a regular opportunity for families to enjoy exercising together.  For pre-school children like Daisy these daily outings have given her the time and opportunity to develop confidence (and speed!) when riding her scooter.  This is true of balance bikes too.

The next step is to help her develop her ‘scooting’ skills; maintaining balance when going down slopes and manoeuvring around corners; and, as the streets and parks become busier, avoiding obstacles.

A fun way to help pre-school children to develop their spatial awareness and improve their manoeuvring skills while on their scooter or balance bike outdoors is to create trails for them to negotiate.  Use chalk, tape or rope to mark out the ground on a patio, on paths or in the park to create varied routes.  Give the route a start and finish point.  Include empty containers and cardboard boxes of different sizes so that they can practise steering and changing course as they go between or around these ‘obstacles’.  Add a ‘zebra’ crossing for their teddies or dolls to promote ‘braking’.  You could time how long your grandchild takes to complete the course and celebrate the ‘best time’.

Invite your grandchildren to help to create the tracks too.

With the current restrictions on accessible space at outdoor play areas and nurseries this kind of activity in the park or garden is a playful way to meet with the family, be with your grandchildren and enjoy their company.

Granny Smith says

Don’t forget the safety helmet!

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