There are many regular everyday items around the house you can use to have fun with your little one and also support their development. One of our favourites is the humble washing basket. Is it a car? A pirate ship? A carriage? A plane? Using a washing basket is a fun way to expose children to movement.
Movement that involves the entire body – for example, when children are on a swing or see-saw – works a child’s vestibular system. Put simply, the vestibular system is the sense of balance and movement in the space around you. When children are moving, the senses send information to the brain, and it sorts it all out and develops a response. This helps children develop the skills used for safety, judgement and confidence. Activities that involve rolling, crawling, tummy time, climbing, jumping, swinging and spinning will provide a good brain workout!
When the child is in the basket, we are moving them around in different directions – and they don’t know which way their body will be going. It’s a fun way to support the development of balance and strength. Pop on some music and have some fun.
Below are some song ideas:
- The Wiggles, Big Red Car
- Take Your Driving in My Car
- The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat
- Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea
- Up in the Air, I Fly
- I’m a Little Airplane
You don’t have to be stuck with songs dedicated to children. Think, Twist & Shout by The Beatles (and twist the basket around to the song), Happy by Pharrell Williams or Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake.
Baskets can also be used in other fun ways, for example, place balls inside and the child can put items in and out. After you do the washing next time, take a little time for imaginative play. Your little one will be learning so much, and not even realise.
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