From the experts at Studio Belize® - Design Studio for Children's Products:
Everyone knows how important regular physical activity is. Few, however, know why varied exercise is absolutely essential for good development, even in infancy. Just as few parents know that lack of exercise
can hinder and even disrupt children's development
. In the following article, you can read why movement is so important even in infancy, why a lack of movement should be avoided at all costs, and how to create a Pikler Triangle
can help you.
Pikler triangle with slide
- How movement influences children's language development
- Why movement positively influences children's development
- Lack of movement and its consequences for children's development
- How a Pikler triangle playfully promotes children's movement
1. How movement influences children's language development
According to information from the German Youth Institute, movement influences both the language acquisition process of young children and the development of mental, emotional and social skills. Therefore, it can be said that the course for the success of child development is set at a very early age and that movement should definitely be part of a child's development.
Babies, for example, use their sensory organs to perceive their environment, process what they experience and translate this into an action of movement. They kick their arms and legs. In this way, movement stimulates nerve centers and builds new nerve connections. This process is the basis for the mental development of babies and toddlers. In the long term, it is also the basis for abstract or symbolic thought processes, which are also responsible for the development of language.
If babies or toddlers lack this movement, for example, precisely the described development of cognitive abilities and language can take place more slowly or inefficiently. According to Renate Zimmer, a well-known German educational scientist, perception and movement are the basis of all development.
2. Why movement positively influences the development of children
According to Dr. Klaus Balster, who was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his commitment to children, movement and sport, movement in children leads above all to a wide range of sensorimotor experiences. Through movement, children experience their own bodies and their motor skills in different situations. The child's brain and its nerve centers are stimulated by these experiences and encouraged to develop. According to Dr. Balster, a sense of achievement initiated by movement is also extremely important for children. This sense of achievement increases the child's self-confidence and promotes the joy of movement, which in turn encourages more movement and consequently also promotes development even better.
3. Lack of exercise and the consequences for child development
Lack of exercise, on the other hand, can disrupt the development of babies and toddlers and negatively affect the child's behavior in later years of life. A lack of movement is often manifested in young children by general deficiencies in perception, cramped or clumsy actions, balance problems, too slow reactions, immobility, muscle weakness, early fatigue during physical activities, the lack of ability to catch balls (in infancy) or even to hit balls with bats (in childhood). However, the lack of exercise manifests itself not only physically, but also psychologically. At some point, children become so frustrated by their deficits in physical activity that they lose interest in exercise.
Behavior in later stages of a child's life can be influenced or disturbed in very different ways by a lack of exercise. Thus, inattention, listlessness, learning disabilities, lack of enjoyment of interpersonal contacts, excessive anxiety, or even hyperactivity or increased aggression can occur as a result of a lack of exercise.
In order to positively promote the development of one's own child through movement, it is therefore recommended that care be taken early on to ensure that young children move a lot and also develop a love of movement.
The principle that parents should be aware of for their child's developmental movement comes from Emmi Pikler, the inventor of the Pikler Triangle:
"It is essential that the child discovers as many things as possible by himself. If we help him to solve all the tasks, we deprive him of the very thing that is most important for his mental development. A child who achieves something through independent experimentation acquires a very different kind of knowledge than one to whom the solution is offered ready-made." - Emmi Pikler
4. How a Pikler triangle playfully promotes children's movement
We parents are responsible for providing our children with an environment in which they can independently make their own experiences and develop to the best of their ability. In the stressful everyday life, however, this is a challenge. In order to provide your children with exactly this development-promoting environment, we recommend the purchase of a Pikler Triangle, also known as a climbing triangle. This active play equipment helps children between the ages of 8 months and 7 years to develop their motor and cognitive skills through play. And with a lot of fun.
Pikler triangle with slide
It invites toddlers to stand up or pull themselves up and is perfect for little ones to learn how to stand safely on their own. On the slide, which is first hooked into one of the lowest steps, toddlers begin to crawl and eventually climb the first inclines of their lives. They strengthen their muscles and become more and more courageous in using the climbing triangle. Later, between the ages of one and two, toddlers begin to climb the rungs, very slowly and carefully at first, and then faster and more confidently. This trains the interaction of the two hemispheres of the brain and promotes eye-hand-foot coordination.
Their joy when they have climbed up a rung all by themselves is not only a wonderful sense of achievement for the kids, but also makes our parents' hearts beat faster with pride.
Between the ages of 3 and 4, the children climb over the climbing triangle and the climbing games become wilder and faster. With their eye-hand-foot coordination now honed, children are able to master the climbing challenge faster and faster. The Pikler Triangle's slide board and climbing ladder provide more fun and challenge. The children slide, climb, have toy cars drive down the slide or crawl in no time under the climbing triangle, which can also be used wonderfully as a crawling tunnel.
Between the ages of 5 and 7, the Pikler Triangle is also used for fantasy games. It is ridden as a horse or becomes the helm of a pirate ship. Often the space under the climbing triangle also becomes a horse stable or a teddy bear's den. Simply wonderful.
The Pikler Triangle with its countless play possibilities is a wonderful and pedagogically valuable toy that children will play with for a long time.
You all should be familiar with the saying: "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree", and that's how it is. We as parents are role models. We should provide our kids with the best possible environment for their development and model a balanced active lifestyle for them. It's important to start doing this right from baby or toddlerhood, so that our little darlings have the best developmental opportunities in the long run.