Q: What equipment have you found to be useful to help children become coordinated?

A: When I was teaching in Zimbabwe gymnastic equipment was expensive and not easily obtainable. We had to be inventive with whatever equipment was available and affordable. It was fortunate that my late father was very handy with woodwork. He would groan every time I entered his workshop holding a piece of paper or a magazine, as he knew I wanted him to make something from just a sketch or a picture. He made wonderful wooden pieces of equipment that enhanced my teaching and enabled me to teach a wider variety of activities.

We found creative ways to use simple hand-held equipment such as balls, beanbags, hoops and ropes. We used school benches, mini trampolines and mats, too. A diverse array of individual, partner and group activities can be done with this equipment and a little imagination.

Balls, beanbags, hoops and ropes are affordable, durable and obtainable from most kindergarten resource retailers. The correct size hoops and lengths of rope are especially important to achieve successful handling and use. It is important that the equipment size is manageable for small hands and I strongly recommend that each child has their own equipment when doing individual activities.

By using just these four, basic hand-held pieces of equipment — individually or in various combinations — a multitude of activities that support the development of the fundamental movement skills is readily available.

This equipment was extremely valuable to me 20 years ago and it is just as valuable today. This is why the MoovKids curriculum and video resource is designed to use easily attainable balls, beanbags, hoops & ropes. Children, no matter when or where they are born, need to be exposed to a wide variety of movement skills for their holistic development.

We would love to hear from you. If you have found creative ways to use this kind of equipment, please do share a post on our MoovKids facebook page.

Darlene Koskinen

Balls: 20 to 30 cm in diameter
Bean Bags: 10 x 15 cm is a suitable size
Hoops: 60 to 70 cm in diameter
Ropes: 200 – 220 cm in length