The Climbing and Movement Area & Materials

The Climbing and Movement Area & Materials

The Climbing and Movement Area should be a dedicated space for movement. This doesn’t require a lot of space for small children if the equipment is child-sized and rotated in and out of a playroom. The activities will evolve as a child grows from basic dancing and hopping, to Sit and Spins, to jumping and running.

This area is less about the type of equipment than it is in remembering a child needs to move his or her body constantly, and should be encouraged to do so throughout the day.

Playing music from the Music Area is often enough to stimulate dancing and movement. Very young children (zero to two years) will use their bodies just to access and explore the toys you set up in the playroom. Ages two and older will need more facilitation and types of equipment, for example, an indoor slide or hop balls.

Encourage anything that gets them moving and using their bodies. This could include dancing, jumping jacks, hopping on one foot, crawling around pretending to be an animal or even yoga with you. It’s as if energy builds up inside them and must get out. Allocating time for movement also helps break up the day and playtime.

For smaller children, bring in one or two items at a time and change this equipment every few days or weekly.

Encourage the use of items from the House Area, such as the shopping cart and baby stroller to promote movement (take a baby for a walk).

Purchase a floor climbing structure (like the photo to the right) that can be taken apart and changed. There are many different types available. Babies and toddlers can practice climbing and slide down without getting hurt. As children get older, they will use it to make a fort to hide in, to play separately from others, use as a ramp or slide for toy cars or balls, to read on, to create some elaborate play scenario, simply as a place to relax, and more.

Children need to move and release energy, especially school-aged children who must sit quietly most of the day. Movement is a critical part of every child’s day.
During the winter or on cold and rainy days, even an unfinished basement can be a great place for movement. Convert it into an open space and child-proof as much as possible.

Create a track on the concrete floor using duct tape to establish a path, to ride sit-on scooters, tricycles, rollerblades, bicycles, play tag, or just run around. In the basement, they can jump, run, dance, throw things, and make a mess.

Indoor inflatable bounce houses are also a great resource. Many can fit four small children. Children love these when they are small.

By the time children transition from walking to running, their physical needs will be greater, and they will need to go outside more often. Refer to The Outdoor Area.

Older children transition from needing movement to requiring daily exercise. Children need a minimum of one hour of movement a day.

Even using equipment like an elliptical trainer, stationary bicycle, exercise ball, or yoga swing can keep children occupied, and their friends will use them just as much.

Getting Started

1. Climbing Structure

2. Gross Motor Equipment (one to five options)
0-2+ Years: Rocking horse, obstacle courses, balance beam
3-6+ Years: Indoor slide, ride-on scooter, Sit and Spin

Materials for the Climbing and Movement Area

• Climbing structure
• Tumbling mat
• Sit and Spins
• Hop balls
• Doorway gym
• Indoor plastic slide
• Rocking horse
• Dance barre
• Parachute
• Sit-on scooters
• Ride on toy
• Tricycle
• Jump ropes
• Hula hoops
• Fold-up mazes
• Roller skates
• Wagon or pull cart
• Balance beam and bars
• Balance board
• Indoor swing or yoga swing
• Pogo jumper
• Mini trampoline (with a bar
for toddlers)
• Stepping and balance stones
• Indoor dome climber

The paperback version of Create a Home of Learning is available at Amazon, your favorite bookseller or

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