Make a tunnel with your legs, or with your hands and feet on the floor or even with a wall! You can arch your body to make a tunnel between you and the wall, or the adventurous can put their hands on the floor and walk up the wall to make a handstand tunnel.
If your wee one...
- Hangs upside down at every opportunity
- Loves climbing as high as possible
- Randomly lays their head down (or even fully lies down) even when they’re not tired
- Wants you to dangle or flip them upside down
They’re not being “naughty” – they’re exploring the orientation schema
Schemas are patterns of repeated behaviours which children engage in. They are a crucial part of development and learning. Here are some ideas can help channel their interest.
1. Upside down!
Being upside down is actually a crucial part of developing the vestibular system (our sense that tells us where we are in space). Explore being upside down together through making tunnels with your bodies – lean against a wall or let them crawl through your legs if you’re not ready for handstands!
2. Use the weather!
Wind changes how objects move, offering wee ones opportunities to see objects in different ways, move them around and learn from touch. Lie down underneath washing that’s drying on the line, or run or crawl under a rug or scarf that someone is flapping.
For babies, mirrors are a great form of sensory play that help them understand themselves from different angles. They’re also great for learning (and playing with) facial expressions. Hang mirrors at their height, hold a handheld mirror above them, or peek at yourself in the mirror between your legs.
4. Get down
Getting down to your wee one’s level is a great way to explore perspective, whether that’s crawling, rolling or just lowering yourself to their height, you’ll learn a lot about how they move and see the world! They may also love sitting on your back – another chance for a new perspective!
Orientation can lead us into conversations about point of view, and how we all see things differently. Use movement, photography and imagination to explore how an ant, an eagle or another animal might see the world.