Toddlers are fascinated by anything that rolls or moves by itself
They love it!
Toddlers are fascinated by anything that rolls or moves by itself. When they are babies and still unable to move around by themselves, they will often follow these objects with their eyes, because they intrigue them. These little rolling objects become more interesting as the baby starts to move around: wiggling, crawling, and later, walking.
What is a rolling object?
Rolling objects include anything with wheels, such as all vehicles (cars, trucks, trains and buses), as well as anything larger that they can ride on outside (bicycles and scooters). There are also other objects whose shape allows them to roll on the ground (balls, lids, hoops, strollers, rolls of packaging, etc.).
What interest is there in these objects?
Playing with rolling objects provides multiple and complementary learning opportunities for the child, such as:
To make small vehicles roll by pushing them with their hands, they need to use fine motor skills. Children’s development of gross motor skills, meanwhile, is enhanced by moving large toys and using different means of locomotion (moving forwards, backwards, slowing down, accelerating, pushing, pulling, etc.). Playing with rolling objects also allows children to coordinate their vision and actions, to evaluate distances, to anticipate slowing down or accelerating, to maintain balance while moving, and to dissociate upper and lower body movements.
Children make up stories and use their imagination. For example, if you think about toy cars, children will become more and more interested in the details that distinguish different worlds as they grow up. This will either make them want to isolate themselves and tell their story alone, or to find play partners with whom they can work out a storyline together. For older children, around 3 years old, putting together decorative elements will form part of the game, and some children will not only use figurines, but also cubes, to complete it.
DISCOVERING THE WORLD
Rolling objects are interesting for children because they allow them to understand basic concepts such as motion, collisions or the relationship between the thrust of the object and its movement. The child will act on these objects and conduct experiments that allow them to understand these concepts.
"WE GET THE BALL ROLLING!" AT LA PETITE ECOLE
At La Petite Ecole, children often immerse themselves in “everything that rolls,” including:
- Cars and buses of various sizes with many different surfaces on which they will roll (cardboard, sensory mats, tables, etc.);
- Objects requiring pulling;
- Trains and tracks;
- Outdoor vehicles (trucks, bikes and scooters) that they can ride around on;
- Prams for dolls;
- Hoops and rings of different sizes;
- Various balls;
- A box of caps and lids of all kinds.
So, children can experiment with “anything that rolls” to their hearts’ content.