Proprioception

Have you heard of this before? It is body awareness, knowing where your body parts are without having to look at them and knowing how much force to use. Without it, kids might hurt someone during tag because they push too hard, bump into people or have trouble bringing their spoon to their mouth without looking at it. They even might have difficulties staying in their seat at school.

The main issue nowadays? Screens. Kids don’t practice proprioceptive skills while staring at a screen. And with Canadian winters being so harsh, I need to be creative with Finns play indoors. This is one of the reasons I got him a balance board from Kimboo (Canadians only, for US readers see the Kinderfeets). He goes upside down, climbs and slides, he practices walking on an in- and decline, he wobbles on it and it helps with developing his balance.

Did you know that the most important time to develop a child’s proprioception is before they are six years old?

Some other activities to help are:
• Climbing stairs
• Crawling in boxes and through tunnels
• Catching/throwing
• Swimming
• Play doh
• Building forts

I love the indoor opportunities for climbing so I’m looking at getting him a pickler triangle for his second birthday to help develop this more!

For some more ideas on toys for your toddler, check out my blog post on the Top 5 Montessori inspired toys!

Top 5 montessori inspired toys to buy for your toddler

Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you decide to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

I know my previous posts have been more about my pregnancy loss journey, but I also would love to share more things about my life and the things I love. This week I’ve been browsing like crazy to find some good quality toys to invest in this year. I hate the idea of buying “cheap” plastic toys that don’t get played with very long or break easily. Instead, I’ve decided to spend a bit more money on toys that will last longer, and now I’m sharing them with you!

As a (phys ed) teacher, and a child development specialist, I am not only looking for toys that improve fine and gross motor skills, but also toys that have more than one function, allowing my child to let his imagination run wild. I just ordered this number one item yesterday and I am SO excited for it.

1. Balance board – #1 CHOICE

No, it is not cheap.. but YES it is a good investment. This can be used for years and years and even be enjoyed by Mama (think; yoga on a balance board!).

What is it.. A slide? A rocker? A bridge? A ramp for cars? It is all of the above and them some. From 18 months – teenage years, this board will be loved by all and for years to come. I must admit, Tim looked at me funny when I showed it to him and said I wanted to buy it, he was NOT for it. But when I explained all the uses and read a bunch of (extremely positive!) reviews, he was on board. I cannot wait to see Finn play with this. I originally looked into a Wobbel board, they are a Dutch company and I am familiar with them, but here in Canada they are a tad more expensive. I decided to go local with the Canadian made Kimboo board. And for my US followers, the Kinderfeets board seems to be a good choice also!

2. The Wishbone mini flip

US customers can find it here. In Canada it can be found at Ella + Elliot.
And for my Dutchies: HERE

This thing is THE BEST. I bought it for Finn’s birthday and it is a MAJOR hit in this house, from the start. It grows with him and you can flip the bottom over so it becomes a rocker! When he was learning to walk he used it as a walker, seriously.. you can NOT go wrong with this one, and you can totally customize the colors too!

3. Rainbow Stacker

find it on Amazon in Canada and the USA
and on bol.com in the Netherlands

I could not leave this one out of the list.. cause it’s a Rainbow! And nope that’s not the only reason why I listed it here. This thing inspires creativity, and not to mention, it looks cute as decoration in the nursery too!

There are different rainbow stackers to choose from, though Grimm’s seems to have the best reviews for quality and they make them in 4 (!!!) different sizes.

4. Balance Bike

When I visited my parents in the Netherlands I saw there were so many cool quality products, and this was one of them. It is the same brand as the Mini Flip and I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the wishbone products so I had to add this, I mean.. COME ON. Look how cool this bike is!

Find it on amazon in Canada here, in the US here
and a different (but similar idea) balance bike for my Dutchies here.

I won’t be buying it for Finn this Christmas (This Santa needs to budget after all.. ) But I seriously will be considering buying it for his birthday in March. It will be awesome for rides to the park!

5. Puzzles

And last but not least.. Puzzles. Because.. How can you go wrong with good quality and educational wooden puzzles?

Sold on amazon in Canada and the USA
Similar puzzle in the Netherlands

I hope I’ve inspired you to invest in one amazing toy this year, I will for sure be sharing my experiences with the ones I end up buying. For now, happy (online) shopping!