Veronika can’t wait to break free from “pillowville” (the name I have for the way I currently block her in the playroom with pillows; it’s time to buy baby gates!), and she’s trying to scale the pillows constantly. Today I set up a few obstacle courses to develop her gross motor skills, and boy did she have a blast.
First, I placed a very low obstacle in the center of the playroom with a few toys on top.
This is lower than couch cushions, so it was great practice for getting her knees up and onto the top, the last piece of the puzzle for her to work out.
She was so proud when she reached the toys!
You can make a similar “obstacle course” for any early crawler with low pillows or bean bags to crawl across. Toys at the end as incentive always help!
Next up was more of a cerebral obstacle course. I had her practice zigging and zagging across the room by placing a series of enticing toys.
First she crawled to bean bags hidden under cups.
Then she had to zig to a tower of blocks.
A current favorite music box toy was up next. She made a beeline for it.
She probably would happily have stopped there…
…so I moved it to the final point of her “maze” too. As she moved towards each group of objects, we also worked on language development. “Come get the blue bean bag!” “Can you get the square block?” The activity also builds math skills, believe it or not (the geometry of zigging and zagging) and fine motor skills as baby plays with each toy along the way.
Finally, it was time for the big girl obstacle course! For this one, I set up the couch cushions so they formed “steps” and “ramps.” I did all of this over a soft floor mat, and added blankets along the sides as added protection against any rolls.
She needed no encouragement at all; she wanted up! She headed for the toys at the top of the first ramp, still needing a bit of a boost on her bottom.
About half way to the toys, she got tired. This is hard work mommy!
I encouraged her with another boost, and she made it!
Heading down was interesting, and I spotted her along the side in case of a fall. She decided to take a side route instead.
Once again with a little boost she reached the top.
What great exercise!