Climbing, crawling and standing – importance of a stimulating environment

It’s been all about movement for us during the past couple of weeks. Let me tell you, nothing is safe any more and I’m glad that the little one is not too fast yet so I can easily catch up and safe whatever she’s been eyeing up.

I’ve also started to visit our local Playcentre (parent-led early childhood education centres) with my little daughter and she’s been thriving in this new environment. She now started to pull herself up to a standing position on furniture or anything else she can get a hold on really. A cardboard box caught her attention in particular. It was meant as a garage or tunnel for cars, but my daughter used it to pull herself up, then lie on it belly down, kneel and crawl over it and finally scramble down the other side head first. I loved to watch her practise this a number of times.

I was hoping I could create a similar stimulating environment at home for her, but unfortunately I haven’t quite succeeded yet. She does use our coffee table to pull herself up, but it’s too high for her to get up – which is just as well. I’ve put down big cushions from the sofa, but they didn’t seem to interest her at all. A little footstool seemed to be a bit more interesting, but unfortunately it keeps on folding together. Our kitchen and lounge are also quite crammed and not ideal for lots of movement. Our backyard will be much better suited, but unfortunately it has been raining during the past week.

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Our local climbing wall however is very spacious and has quite a few interesting features for our little one. When we went there last week (I didn’t actually climb, but had to get out of the house and really didn’t want to spend the evening alone with the little one at home while hubby went climbing) she just loved to pull herself up on the mats and use the different heights of the mats to practise her crawling skills.

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So what I’m trying to say in this post is that if you notice that a certain environment (like Playcentre in our case) seems to interest your little one and you can’t create something similar at home, then get creative and look for other places that give your little one plenty of opportunities to practise those skills that she’s recently learned (like the climbing wall).

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Ideally though, if the weather permits, get outside as much as possible because nature often provides plenty of opportunities for practising different skills.

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