Invite children to walk along fallen trees and logs to develop the vestibular sensory system!
Here’s an outside activity for kids that was a favorite of mine when I was a child. My brothers and I loved walking on the downed trees we found in the forest we lived in. We started with trees close to the ground and progressed to the ultimate accomplishment–a tree that had fallen across a dry river bed. I wish I had pictures to share, but there were none ever taken. I think my parents would have had a heart attack had they seen some of the downed trees we crossed–haha!
Walking across downed trees is a great gross motor activity for kids. It helps them develop better balance and is so much fun! Any place where trees grow there is bound to be some that have fallen to the ground. You may have to drive a bit to get there, but it will be well worth it — I promise.
Once you find some downed trees allow your child to climb up and walk across them. Support your child as needed depending on their age(s) and abilities. Some trees are long, wide, and low to the ground. These are the best to start on. Others are higher off the ground and have all sorts of challenging features to get across. Avoid these until your child gets more comfortable walking on trees. Crawling or scooting across is another option for little ones or those that need a bit more time to get comfortable before they begin attempting to walk across.
Allow your child to first hold your hand as you walk nearby on the ground until they [and you] grow more comfortable with their abilities. Later you can encourage them to use their arms for balance as you slowly allow them to tree walk on their own. Stay nearby just in case!
Thankfully my daughter loves tree walking as much as I did. She has been tree walking since she was about 18 months old — with support nearby of course. Following are a few pictures we have taken of our little tree walker.
Here’s a great tree for beginners. It’s long, wide, and low to the ground:
This tree is higher off the ground, and my daughter needs a bit of support. She lets go here and there but I stay close by and ready to help.
This tree has a crack that my daughter loves to point out every time she crosses it.
My family and I have been having so much fun getting outside & connecting every day. We hope you have been enjoying the weekly activities as much as we do.