“Every baby moves with more ease and efficiency if allowed to do it at his own time and in his own ways, without our trying to teach him. A child who has always been allowed to move freely develops not only an agile body but also good judgment about what he can and cannot do.”⁠
Magda Gerber.

Little babies become toddlers as they start showing a desire to move around on their own, starting to crawl and climb are the first manifestations of this stage. Basically they get “the wiggles” and start pulling and pushing their core with their arms and legs. It can seem they have an urgency to get somewhere. Why such urgency?

The joy of children as they play freely is always very clear.
This photo is courtesy of
Magnolia James

Well, they’re connecting their basic brain-muscle neuron networks. By moving around, there are establishing a more complex relation to their own body and their control over it.

It’s such a basic activity, moving around, but it’s the basic building block of corporal agency. Before standing up straight or walking, the child needs to experience and feel how to move her or his limbs: how much pressure to put on each of the muscles and tendons involved. And the great news it that it feels great for the child! The more the child moves, the more he or she learns to control these movements and further refines the moves. Of course, this means also that the muscles gain strength and tune better to what the child is trying to do with her or his body.

The more a child moves around freely, the more his or her gross motor skills develop.
This boy is joyfully burning energy and learning new skills on our indoor trapeze.
This photo is courtesy of
@nikkileydier

This, in a nutshell, is why so many early-childhood experts from different fields agree that toddlers need to be able to move freely, in a safe environment yes, but the emphasis is on “freely.” The child is discovering how to use his or her body, something we cannot teach but only foster an environment where she or he can do it, every day, for as long as the child needs. That is what all that energy kids have is for: to practice movement in order to learn how to be the willful agent of their own body and help it grow healthy and strong.

Play is a filled with spontaneous moments of learning through movement.
This girl is playing on a Rainbow climbing Pikler triangle with a reversible ramp.

That’s what our products are about: creating objects for the home of our times, that children can climb and play on safely, depending on the motor development stages they are in, from early toddlers up to 10 year-olds.

Kids want and need to move, need to play, they need to connect to their bodies to unfold the person they are. Nurture and allow this need, and they blossom.

Author

Mirza Sánchez

Mirza Sánchez

A passionate writer with a knack for everything global.

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