What materials are needed for a home-made motor skills circuit?
You can use all sorts of objects and furniture available in your home to create your own motor skills circuit. Provided, of course, that they are safe! The more varied the objects, the more fun your child will have!
Take what you have available and arrange it to create a circuit. The aim is to allow the child to move in all directions and go around an obstacle circuit that will allow them to work on their motor skills: straddling the obstacle, climbing, crawling, hopping, etc.
To do this, place the following elements on the floor and imagine the circuit the child will have to follow:
- Cushions, bolsters
- Tables, solid furniture
- Cuddly toys
- Ropes or wires
- Balls and balloon.
You then give the child instructions to run along the drawn path under your watchful eye.
Which motor skills activities should be favoured?
The motor skills circuit allows your child to develop different skills (such as balance and coordination). Above all, it provides loads of fun! And the more fun a child has, the more likely it is to want to do it again.
To encourage the child, you can imagine a story, with obstacles, so that they experience the activity as an adventure! For example, you can imagine a river with crocodiles lurking under the water, or a bridge to cross, small steps that will lead to a big treasure that must be recovered at all costs! Tell the story to your child and this will also develop its imagination and creativity.
And to achieve this, encourage your child to:
- Jump forwards, backwards, feet together or hopping. Use hoops or obstacles like cushions to jump over, etc.
- Find your balance, walking on a broom stick, on a rope on the floor, a line formed with tape or on a path of cushions.
- Crawling forwards or backwards, building a tunnel under a table for example, or setting up several chairs one after the other.
- Rolling on a floor mat, doing somersaults. Help your child with its first rolls to explain the movement.
- Throwing – by giving the child a small object (e.g. a ball) to throw towards a particular target, such as a hoop or a bowl.
Developing sensory activities in the motor skills circuit
Use this activity to develop your child’s senses at the same time.
By choosing a variety of objects to build the circuit, you give your toddler the opportunity to discover different textures and explore their senses.
Encourage your child to:
- Touch various cushions, sheets, objects, etc. so as to discover the different sensations felt at the moment of touching.
- Smell the different scents: the wood of the furniture has a certain smell, as do the different fabrics (cushions, sofa, etc.)
- Walking on a mat
Safety rules for running around indoors:
To ensure that this motor skill activity takes place in the best possible conditions, here are some safety rules to follow.
Avoid socks at all costs! Children risk slipping and hurting themselves badly. They can play barefoot, which will also help develop the sensory aspect of the activity.
Provide a safe and easy circuit (no rolling on the tiles, no slipping or jumping on the stairs, etc.) and protect the corners of the furniture.
Stay close to your child, to avoid possible falls.
Move valuable objects from the room in which you are setting up the circuit to avoid a room full of mess at the end of the day.
It should be a good time and a good memory for your child (and for you!)
So, are you ready? Go for it!
In our day care centres, we encourage free motor skills. The aim is to offer the youngest children a space without constraints, attractive and fostering the development of their motor skills and the search for movement.
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