These curved wooden boards on the surface look simple; stand and rock. For a child though the possibilities are endless. An investment piece which will truly last a lifetime there are no limits to the play opportunities of a rocker board. We’ve chosen to purchase the Curvy Boards because they’re a UK based company with a great ethos.
When initially starting to plan out The Fern Club I knew that these boards would be a staple of the lesson plan. From motor skill development, feats of engineering, creative imaginative play and the basis of so much more! For something so incredibly simple, the benefits are immense.
Whilst I try not to be too prescriptive about how to play with the Curvy Board, now and then it’s nice to give a little hint and see what develops. To begin with I like to lay the board face down, like a bridge. Keeping it simple our 2 year olds climb up and over, our 5 year olds grab the cars and play races over it and our brave 7 year olds cartwheel up and over it. Amazing!
Each child will approach the board with their own creative input and that’s what I love most! The Fern Club prides itself on allowing the child to progress at their own speed, no targets, no goals. The Curvy boards fit this brief perfectly. Quite simply it can sit unassuming in the corner of the room until a child begins to interact with it. Once the play has begun, the possibilities are never ending; riding a ship in a terrible storm as it rocks from side to side, a launch pad for a super rocket, the foundations of a creepy castle, a step to reach the basketball net, I could go on.
Once the Curvy Board is turned over suddenly the world takes on another depth. The momentum, the vestibular input, the proprioceptive awareness and sensory stimulation, the developmental benefits to the child are so subtle but very complex.
Each time the board rocks below their feet, their muscles send feedback to their brain about the surface the child is stood on. The rocking motion stimulates the inner ear canals; responsible for balance and retina stabilisation. The vestibular system works in unison with the proprioceptive and muscular systems to keep the child upright and steady their vision in order to play! Phew!
Young children are still negotiating the environment around them, muscular development continues to improve right into their teenage years and beyond. When used for movement, these boards provide an unstable surface great for working the large muscles but equally as beneficial for the small adjustments so vital in everyday life. There’s a lot of core control needed for simply standing and rocking, try it for yourself next time.
The Fern Club classes will incorporate Curvy Boards throughout the term, I really do love the limitless opportunities they bring. Of course, I encourage the big grown up kids to try them out too!