the waldorf inspired bloon toys balance board is one of those toys that does many things ‘right’ in the world of play and development. it’s because it ticks so many boxes, that it often becomes the favourite toy not just of the child but of the household.
often dubbed more a piece of furniture than a toy, the bloon toys curvy board is played with in many different ways as a child grows up, and becomes a part of the home.
the name 'curvy board' was intended to be simply a descriptor while keeping its usage undefined, unlike the more popular 'balance board'. this was so that children could make up their own meaning as they played. it is also why we do not prescribe any set way of playing with it... but suggest that you just leave it around your home, allowing your children to explore it at their own pace.
the curved form itself is intriguing and invites play, and sooner or later, children approach it to explore it in their own way.
for toddlers, just learning how to crawl...
they use it in their exploration of the world around them, and themselves. they crawl over it, using it as a ramp, and even (try) to crawl under it. they sit on it, and feel its rocking motion, slowly increasing the pace of their rocking as they grow in comfort and confidence.
slightly older, children aged between 1.5 years and 7 years old...
have entered the world of imaginative play... and the curvy board being such a simple and open ended form, can be interpreted by them in many ways and throws open many possibilities for imaginative play. we've seen it being used in hundreds of different ways - a boat, a tunnel, a race car, a parking space and shelter, a slide... the possibilities are limitless
they also use it to push physical development forward - to balance in different ways, to use it as a slide or a ramp. as they grow, children instinctively push their own boundaries from placing their feet further and further apart, to even hula hooping while on the board - and each little win - boosts both their physical development as well as their sense of confidence.
7 years old and above...
even older kids and adults use the curvy board plenty - some children enjoy motion while doing things - reading, studying - and the curvy board gives them this ability to rock while they work.
using it is also a great work out for adults - for the core and the legs - while also being an instant mood-uplifter!
it's been stress tested, and withstands upto 300 kilos in weight, so it's sturdy and suitable for use in many ways, by people big and small.
other uses and benefits
in waldorf pedagogy, the "sense of balance" is one of the 4 foundational senses. the foundational senses are the ones that prepare children for later learning and life. the sense of balance works towards giving children a sense of mastery over their own bodies, and an understanding of their bodies in space.
since being "imbalanced" helps draw attention to all parts of the body and various muscle groups, these unique curvy boards were designed to help children develop balance, posture, poise and a give them a greater awareness of their bodies and movements.
this basic body mastery is essential to prepare not only the body, but also the brain for later learning.
we've also seen it being used as a foot rest, a table top (with plenty of leg room), and a stool to reach high places :)
it really is a wonderfully dynamic toy that grows with a child and makes every home a little more playful!