It’s been a while since we’ve done one of our favorite toys! I wanted to talk about the infant gym. Here are some of the traditional ways I have used this toy:
- Encouraging tummy time
- Propping on forearms while in tummy time – reaching for toys
- Works on weight shifting and trunk control
- Reaching while lying on the back
- Kicking legs while lying on the back
- Encouraging sidelying and reaching
- Sitting balance
- Encouraging reaching in all directions
One of the uses I discovered by accident was to practice standing balance and balance reactions! I was working with a child on standing and her sister wanted to be involved too. When her sister stood up at the infant gym, the little girl I was with was more than eager to copy so she stood holding on to the bars. Well since it’s not a very stable surface, there was a lot of sway. I stayed close by but she was able to use her core muscles to come back to center most of the time. I kept my hands on her or the bars to provide some stability and maintain safety but I let her fully explore her balance reactions and finding center. It was fun to watch her refine her movment as she went. She started with waiting until she was really far outside her base of support before attempting to correct and then over correcting and needing to correct back again. However, as she played with the movement she refined it so the sway was within a much smaller arc of motion.
How else have you used the infant gym?