What you need:
- Lots of walks on a variety of uneven surfaces: dirt, sand, grass, gravel, mulch, and pavement. Walk in a hilly park or a trail in the woods.
- Cushions, pillows, or other household items to create a path with uneven surfaces in your living room.
- Get out and walk! Take lots of walks on a variety of uneven surfaces: dirt, sand, grass, gravel, mulch, and pavement. Walk in a hilly park, a rocky area, or a trail in the woods
- Stay in and create your own uneven paths! Stack soft pillows next to hard couch cushions. Use heavy blankets, rolled towels and small toys under and over a throw rug. Create a bumpy, lumpy, potholed path. Encourage your child to walk (without hand support) across the obstacles and follow the path to reach you without falling.
Give hugs when they cross the finish line!
Ways to expand the activity:
- Have your child stand up on a small stool or chair and count to 5! (or rise unassisted from a seated position on the floor).
- Challenge them to get on all 4’s to crawl. Or walk sideways, climb, tiptoe, and hop over the obstacles.
- Can they carry a priceless treasure (a silly object) with both hands and not to drop it before they cross the finish line?
- Try reaching or twisting to gather small stuffed animals hidden along the path. How many toys can they carry?
- Get your engineer in on the job! Have your child rebuild the path or construct 2 uneven paths so you both can play! Make clean-up part of the play!
What do they learn?
- Depth perception, spatial awareness, balance and agility. Toddlers develop a variety of large muscles as they look ahead to negotiate the rise and fall of irregular surfaces. Play makes them strong!
- Confidence and problem solving. With experience, your toddler will learn to walk or run and step over any small stumbling block in their way.