Learning Environments

Places for Motor Exploration

a toddler up inside some playgroundIn addition to places and space for crawling, toddling, walking, and running, think about places for climbing and swinging and appropriate equipment to support these experiences.1 Programs have many options. For example, mobile infants and toddlers can climb on the following:

  • Cube structures
  • Very low platforms with ramps
  • Half-buried tires
  • Smooth, round boulders and logs
  • Small-scale climbing equipment that older toddlers can get on and off of without adult assistance (but with adult supervision)

a woman on a porch swings holds a baby in her lapPorch swings, glider swings, and hammocks are ideal places for infants and toddlers to swing with adults. Other options include cradles and bucket swings for infants and two-chain tire swings set low to the ground for older toddlers. The tire swing should only allow a gentle back-and-forth motion.

In home-based programs, talk with families about parks and playgrounds in the community that might provide safe equipment for climbing and swinging.

1Greenman and Lindstrom, Caring Spaces, Learning Places, 280; Post et al., Tender Care and Early Learning, 249.