Play Stations

Circuit training is to adults what play stations are to kids. You know how you can have a routine in the gym – stretch in front of the TV, run on the treadmill nearest to the weights, lift all the weights that build on legs, then chest, then arms. Stretch and repeat. Kids enjoy this kind of routine too. They need options but not too many to be overwhelmed, just enough to feel like they’ve covered everything that’s interesting.

At nearly 21 months, my daughter’s developmental milestone should be stacking blocks;however she’s no stacking expert. She’s a weight lifter. My baby is a natural at all things that require strength like carrying a kiddie chair, stacking a couple of kiddie chairs, pushing an adult chair, pushing a table, lifting a table, moving a stack of books, carrying a bag of books– she does this for fun. And she is the ONLY baby I know who has triceps. I’m not kidding.

So our learning objective for today is hand-eye coordination. Instead of playing in her room as usual, we set-up the living room and created 3 play stations: the couch, the coffee table and the floor. I placed her blocks on the couch, puzzle and books on the table and left the mat as a free space. She moved from one station to another and picked one item at a time and played with it on the mat. She was completely focused on the play station area and its variety of (learning) toys. What a breakthrough!

The results:

  1. Not just hand-eye coordination practice
  2. Independent play (All I did was encourage her when frustration struck but she chose the activities that she engaged in. She chose her own circuit.)
  3. A REAL STACK OF BLOCKS. Yay!!!

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