Growing bodies and brains with Animal Walks
Looking for a fun activity that builds your toddler’s brain and helps them with their gymnastics? Then look no further than Animal Walks!
Animal Walks is an activity that helps promote vestibular processing and engages the imagination. Plus Animal Walks are lots of fun!
What is vestibular processing? Well, the vestibular system is a sensory system in your inner ear that helps your brain understand the relationship between your body and the physical world around you. By providing your brain with information about motion, head position and spatial orientation the vestibular system helps your motor functions like maintaining posture, stabilizing your head and keeping your balance.
Promoting vestibular processing through play with your toddler means they improve these motor functions, have better coordination and faster reflexes. Gymnastics is a great way to get the vestibular system working; as kids climb, roll, bounce, spin and balance they provide their growing brains with information about where their bodies are in space.
Our KinderGym classes are packed full of activities that stimulate your toddler’s vestibular system, and Animal Walks are one of our favourite activities that you can play at home too. You can encourage your toddler to walk like an animal when walking to the kitchen to get a snack, going to fetch their favourite toy or while playing on the playground. You can make puzzle time with your toddler more fun and challenging by placing puzzle pieces around the room and have them walk like an animal across the room to fetch them.
Here are 7 of our favourite Animal Walks
These 7 walks are our favourites because they also help the KinderGymnasts work on their gymnastics shapes.
Crawl on your hands and knees. Don’t forget your roar!
Lean forwards and put your hands on the floor. Walk forward with your right hand and right foot at the same time, followed by your left hand and left foot at the same time. Try with your opposite hand and foot. You can also try to keep your legs straight for an extra challenge.
Start sitting on the floor, place your hands behind you and lift your bottom off the floor. Move around in all different directions. Do you know what sound a crab makes? Turns out hermit crabs make a chirping noise!
Put your hands on your hips, squat down and walk around quacking like a duck. This one is great for building up leg strength, have a go with your toddler and feel the burn.
Lean forwards and grab hold of your ankles. Try to walk around without letting go. Want to know what noise an emu makes? Check out these emus and their weird noises.
Squat down and put your hands on the floor between your legs. Jump forwards and land in the same position – don’t forget your ribbit! You can get your toddler to frog jump as high as they can, as long as they can or even side to side.
This one is pretty tricky and is an extension of bear walk. Start by walking your hands out towards a front support, then walking your feet in towards your hands. Inching along like a caterpillar is slower than the other walks, but it’s fantastic for building core strength and coordination.
Can you guess what noise a caterpillar makes? Yes they make a little munching noise as they chew through their food but did you know they also squeak to scare away predators!
We hope you have lots of fun practising Animal Walks with your toddler. It’s a great activity that helps with their gymnastics, gets the vestibular system working, and an opportunity to learn more about different animals. PLUS – This isn’t an exhaustive list, you can make up your own Animal Walks too. Ask your toddler what their favourite animal is, then get them to try to walk like them and make the noises that animal makes.