When children start walking or are getting ready to take their first steps, there are lots of experiences we can provide that develop their skills and keep everybody stimulated. We’ve tried walking on fallen leaves and in the snow, splashing in puddles, taking our socks off and feeling rugs and flooring underfoot, walking up and down slopes, stamping on different floors to make some noise, and exploring vast spaces such as art galleries and museums.
At home, we move the sofa and place cushions on the floor, add a walk mat that lights up as you step on it and walk across different fabrics to make our journeys entertaining and challenging. These even motivate me to walk backwards and forwards and prevent a groove in the carpet!! We have ready, steady, go sessions too giving everyone the chance to practise moving faster.
We’ve got plans for the better weather to have some messy trays to walk through in the garden with barefeet and on a grander scale, we’ll plan an outing to the Barefoot Path at Trentham Gardens.
We often take for granted the many different surfaces we walk on and forget the children may never have experienced these things before. Take a step back and consider what you enjoy walking on – I love the sounds of walking over twigs in forests and over loose rocks, and I enjoy the feel of cushioned moss underfoot when out walking. Can you add any ideas for the kids (and me!) to try?