Hugo is now 15 months old and a fully-fledged walking, talking (sort of) toddler. Seeing him develop his movement skills is all a bit bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I remember those first kicks fondly from when I was pregnant, followed by seeing him lift his head and neck at tummy time. Not long after that, he was rolling, crawling and now he’s fully walking unaided. I miss those days when he laid on his back cooing whereas today he is more of a blur as he runs from one room to the next. Although I do miss those baby days, I realise precisely how vital movement is to a child’s development.
It starts as big gestures like kicks and rolls but then it filters down to those fine motor skills that will eventually lead into more controlled tasks such as writing. You wouldn’t think the two were related, but they all have an impact on each other.
I was really interested to learn about the Play for Life Campaign from Micro Scooters the whole basis of which is based around Deliberate Play. This idea that we as parents should be encouraging movement opportunities through play to aid those all-important skills.
It’s essential to create a positive relationship with movement when children are young to set the basis for the rest of their lives. As they go through each physical developmental stage they gain more confidence and try new things which means they have more physical experiences, and so the cycle continues. Through their Play for Life campaign, Micro Scooters have taken this research and developed several Deliberate Play games that are designed to encourage and develop a child’s movement skills while still being fun and exciting.
Hugo has the Mini Micro 3in1 Deluxe Push Along scooter which is perfect as his first scooter to build his confidence and improve his balance and coordination skills. It has a push along handle which is great for those first rides as a sit on and eventually as he grows, it can transform into an independent scooter.
Play for Life Campaign
Children develop at different stages, and this isn’t always by age alone so to combat this the Play for Life campaign is split into three stages which children progress through at their own pace rather than by their age. This is an important point to remember. When I look at my first son Henry he was walking and moving far earlier in age than Hugo, and that highlights how individual each child can be. Neither is right or wrong. It is about developing and encouraging each individual child’s needs.
Hugo is currently on stage one, and there are many different games suggested to help develop his posture, coordination and balance and help transition him into stage two. For example, one of the games is called “Grab the Teddy” where an adult holds a teddy or toy at one end of the room, and you encourage the child to scoot over to where it is. The general idea is that you encourage and praise them, keeping them engaged and focused on the teddy.
At the moment, we are experimenting with the games a little at a time and because Hugo isn’t quite able to scoot on his own yet we are incorporating the steering handle and helping him reach out to the bear. Eventually, he will be able to scoot himself to the bear as his skills develop.
Stage two and three are about scooting for purpose and encouraging the progression of those spatial awareness skills. The games in each of these stages are developed further to actively improve the skills already learnt while keeping them interested through play.
Have you heard of Deliberate Play or the Play for Life campaign? All the information and details of the research used to develop the campaign are available from the Micro Scooters website including details of the different stages and all of the developed games to try with your little ones.
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