Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Play for life | Using deliberate play to enhance physical development

Ad: We were gifted the microscooters shown in this post in order to take part in our own movement challenges alongside the Play for Life campaign. All thoughts, opinions and professional conclusions drawn are my own based on my knowledge as an EYFS Primary Teacher specialising in Early Years.


Micro Scooter Play for life | Using deliberate play to enhance physical development


pink micro scooter stage 3 with basket and blue LED maxi scooter


When we are talking about child development within the early years, physical development underpins almost everything that a child learns to do. From those first moments of tummy time as a new baby, to climbing up a climbing frame as a pre-schooler – what starts off as those BIG gross motor movements eventually leads into the smaller, more refined, fine motor skills needed for things such as writing…or having the postural control to sit confidently on a chair or move with co-ordination around a room. If you miss out the big physical development skills, children will struggle with the smaller (but trickier!) physical development skills.

Of course, with small children if you want them to learn anything, it needs to be fun!! Scooting is a great introduction to harnessing some of those important skills because it requires such a number of different levels of planning and co-ordination!


  • Children must develop motor muscle planning by appropriately timing and sequencing body movements to reach a desired outcome.
  • Co-ordinating arms and leg movements requires a degree of postural control and balance in order to move and steer the scooter in the intended direction.
  • Develops proprioceptive input through the resistance given when using muscles and joints in the arms and shoulders when steering – this is great for sensory seekers or any child with proprioceptive challenges by helping them with body awareness.


“There is now a proven link between activity levels in children as young as 12 months old, while they develop their gross motor skills, and their physical, academic and emotional confidence in adulthood. Research suggests that children with poor motor coordination participate in less physical activity, have higher BMI and are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Much like early learning techniques, where children must grasp the basic foundations of the alphabet before they can learn to read, children must establish essential movements, before moving on to more challenging physical activities and honing their skills.”


Experts now say they can see differences between children who had a varied experience of movement at a young age, compared to those who didn’t.

riding blue LED maxi scooter with space helmet


The children's Micro scooters have been designed and engineered to suit each stage of a child's development. Their nursery range of scooters start out life as ride on toys and convert to an award winning Mini Micro scooter. 

The Play for Life campaign is a result of their work with Brytespark Limited, a team of experts in biomechanics, child development, fitness training, podiatry, physiotherapy and athletics, to bring the very latest thinking in young children’s physical development - and explains why for under-fives, exercise should be less about minutes and more about movement challenges.




STAGE 1

At this early stage of development your child is mastering their posture and balance, standing up and taking their first steps. At this point, use the Mini Micro 3in1 scooter in Stage 1, with seat and o-bar. It enables children to explore a range of movements, develop dynamic balance and build confidence in their ability. The o-bar is specifically designed for little hands to easily grip and the seat enables the child to explore movement, understand the power in their legs to propel them forward and the need to alternate between legs in order to keep in a straight line. This is building a subconscious confidence in their independence and the ability of their own body to get them from A to B.

pink micro scooter stage 1 with basket and lunch bag




STAGE 2

Once the child is confident in standing upright, toddling and picking up a pace, they will start to apply the fundamental patterns they have already developed to specific tasks. For example, they won’t just scoot for scooting sake, they will have a plan as to where they want to go!

How well they do this, will be determined by their engagement in an activity.

pink micro scooter stage 2 with basket and lunch bag




STAGE 3

Once the toddling stage is over and the child is moving with more balance and co-ordination, and walking with less of a ‘stomping’ gait, they can move onto Stage 3. Children who have experienced a broad base of movement challenges, will be more proficient, confident little ones. They’re now ready to hone their cognitive decision making skills and spatial awareness and physically their muscles and core strength.

The Micro Scooter Mini Micro in Stage 3, with T-bar handle helps them to build confidence as they travel more quickly from A-B. The suspension built into the scooter will protect eager little ones from bumps in the road and The T-Bar handle enables children to hold a suitable upright posture that will build their core strength and help them to control their movements.

pink micro scooter stage 3 with basket and lunch bag


Introducing Deliberate Play


In Deliberate Play, adults engage in the child’s activity, support and guide. When a child is encouraged to find unique solutions to movement challenges, given goal specific tasks, creative themes or ‘family’ rules to traditional games, the play becomes more challenging, stimulating and rewarding.

When play is deliberate, it will help a child to secure its early movement milestones for physical development with more confidence, meaning they are more likely to try new physical challenges and continue exercising and enjoy physical fitness into later life.

Micro Scooters nursery and preschool product ranges are designed to support the critical developmental stage of 12-36 months. Their Deliberate Play games have been designed for children during this developmental stage, using Micro Scooter products that are best suited for their ability.

If you would like to learn more about deliberate play, Micro Scooters has launched a dedicated website where you can read more on how a child develops physically and games to play with children to help them reach their movement milestones with confidence. To find out more visit: https://www.micro-scooters.co.uk/playforlife where they have lots of downloadable activity ideas such as this 'Follow the rainbow' PDF: (click on the image to download the original PDF)

Micro Scooter follow the rainbow deliberate play activity pdf



Have you tried any of the deliberate play activities? You can share online using  #microplayforlife and don't forget to tag me so that I can see what you have been up to :)

pink micro scooter stage 1 with basket and blue LED maxi scooter


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Play for life | Using deliberate play to enhance physical development

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