Bella placed her left foot and left hand on different climbing holds. Her left leg slided off the hold, while her left hand was still on another hold. She lifted both legs on the rock wall, but they slided off. She placed her right hand with her left hand, lifted her both knees on a hold that was below her hands.
Immediately, she moved her legs up to her hands. She bent her body, reached forward by placing both hands and her right leg to the end of the rock wall.
She alternated her footsteps as she walked through the bridge. She stopped at the entrance panel of the slide, walked towards the other part of the bridge and went back to the entrance panel again. She held the corners of the slide, sat down and extended her legs outwards. She went down the slide with both hands holding tightly onto the side and pulled herself up by putting her right hand underneath.
Bella ran towards the animal see saw with alternating foot steps. She held the edges of the see saw and ran towards the playground steps. She grabbed the handrail, lifted her right leg and took the first step. She alternated her footsteps as she went up. She walked towards a big step, lifted her right leg on the step, held the handrail using her right hand, positioned her left hand on that step before lifting up her left leg. Then, she walked towards the tunnel tube and went in.
She used her hands to hold the sides of the tunnel.
But as Bella went up, she lost balance and landed on the floor with her hands gripping the tunnel tightly. Bella then slided upwards using her hands and legs. Once she got down, she took a few steps and went down the slide. When she came to a halt, she stumbled to get up from the slide. She used her hands to push her legs forward and lifted herself up from the squatting position.
Bella positioned her body towards her left side as she walked. She walked towards the swing, reached out her hands, touched it and ran towards the tunnel. She went up the tunnel mound slowly by lifting her right leg, placing both hands forward, and lastly her left leg to reach to the top. She went down the tunnel slowly by alternating her feet. She approached another tunnel mound, placed her right hand on the tunnel, lifted her right leg, and then her left leg up by positioning her left hand on the tunnel. Her left leg and left hand slipped off, followed by her right leg. With her right hand grasped firmly on the tunnel, she lifted her right leg up.
She used both hands to carry her legs up. Upon reaching the top, she squatted down for awhile and stood up. She then waved her right hand up and down, walked forward and jumped off the tunnel. In observation 1, Bella runs assuredly without falling down. This is evident again in observation 2 where she exhibits excellent running skills. She is in the initial stage of running and is in track with her developmental milestones. (Fun Start Move Smart, 2010).
Bella is able to walk on the steps by holding onto the handrails. Children of this age group can walk up several steps of the staircase independently by holding the wall or rail for support (HPB, 2014, p.19). According to Doherty and Bailey (2009), children of 18 – 24 months can move around on playground equipment confidently without assistance.
In observation 1 and 2, Bella displayed body awareness as she positioned her respective hand on the equipment to balance. Gibson (2000) defined the process of motor development to the child unfolding the best possible solutions to the obstacles and opportunities proposed by his environment.
Movement is elucidated as the process of learning as it requires toddlers to overcome gravity, have the strength to support their weight, balance and organise their body. This helps the child to readjust and cope. This is evident when Bella utilised her hands to push herself forward, upwards and to lift herself up.
Bella can be exposed to activities that could reinforce on her balancing skills. One such activity would be to create a obstacle course by setting up pillows and boxes. This will allow the child to crawl around and through the boxes, stepping on the pillows, and going from one obstacle to the next without touching the ground. This obstacle can be enterprised at a toddler-friendly playground using available equipments such as climbing the stairs to go down the slide, walking on balancing beams and crawling under and through the tunnels. Games where toddlers learn to throw, roll and kick the ball can be introduced.
We can provide Bella with a large and light ball and then get her to throw the ball back and forth with a partner. This will encourage Bella to stop stumbling and reinforce on her balancing skills in a safe environment. Besides that, kicking the ball promotes balance and coordination as the child puts her entire weight onto one leg while trying to strike the ball in the opposite leg.