Monday, May 4, 2015

Motor Monday: Stomping Sandcastles for Single-leg Stance

How's that for alliteration?! Last weekend we had a gogreous sunny and suprisingly sunny Saturday so we took the triplets to the beach. (There I go with the S's again!) About 25 minutes from our house there is a little lake with a small beach that we have heard people talk about, but never actually been to. It was so sunny and nice that Michelle decided to play hookey from PhD Land and just spend the day with us. We wanted to do something fun and outside so we decided to check out Whipple Dam. We left a little after nine and hoped that the kiddos might take a little car nap on the way. Naturally they fell asleep about ten minutes before we got there! We folllowed a handful of other cars into the park and thought that was odd, but we were blown away by how packed it was. We got out of he car and at first glance it looked like the entire lake was surrounded by fishermen standing practically shoulder to shoulder and we were ready to bail. But we were meeting a friend there so we decided to stay and after a little investigation we found out that it was opening day of trout fishing season! Thankfully, there was no fishing from the beach so it worked out just fine.

While we were playing in the sand I stumbled on a fun and super easy balance activity for toddlers and thought I'd share. You know how toddlers just LOVE to knock down block towers, and basically destroy just about anything?! Well, they also LOVE to stomp on and destroy sandcastles! Their initial instinct was to just squat down and smash them with their hands, but with a bit of prompting and just a little support at first they got the hang of stomping on them and then that was all they wanted to do. I just used one of their little stacking cups that we brought to the beach and kept scooping up sand and making mini castles and they would just follow me around stomping on them left and right. 

Oops, he missed...
And Avery jumped in & stomped it before he could

Why do I like this activity? Well, in order to stomp on the castles they have to briefly stand on one foot. And while most of us don't spend much time each day standing like flamingos, we do stand on one foot at least a few times most days. If you stand up to put on your pants or your socks or shoes, you are standing on one foot. By the age of three most children should be able to stand on one foot for at least three seconds with a stable trunk and hands on their hips. If you don't get to the beach as often as you'd like you can also work on single leg balance by having kids kick balls, knock down block towers with their feet, try to pop bubbles with their toes, or stand up to put their feet in shoes (even if you have to help a little.)  Just being at the beach is great for working on balance especially for toddlers who have been walking for a few months because just walking on the uneven sand and in shallow water is a great balance challenge!
Ellie mid stomp
Loving this game!

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