Develop and enjoy

Develop and enjoy

It is important that quality time of the parent and baby in the first year   include also physical activity that encourages the motor development, coordination and equilibrium. So you will help the little ones to move.

By: Dana Alperon, psychologist, Developmental and educational consultant to the GYMBOX.
Consultation and exercises: Orna Elad, feldenkreis teacher and and developmental accompaniment to the preschoolers.

Experimentation  in a variety of motor activities contributes to the development of the baby, Reinforces his confidence and his Social and emotional skills and provides hours of quality time of parent and baby  an additional value of promoting the developmental capabilities while playing and having fun. Various areas of development are interrelated.
Motor development begins in the development of the control of the rough muscles: Neck muscles, shoulders, arms and legs, and moves to control the fine muscles, such as the finger muscles. Through the motion and the experimentation with various senses the infant develops also the thinking, language and the concepts of the child.
Nursery equipment market offers quite a few accessories and babies activity surfaces, the following exercises are designed to perform on the GYMBOX –   motor activity centre for the domestic environment. This modular cube unfolds to six edges and becomes a sport mattress that combines various elements, such as balls pools, cylinders of different sizes, swings, stairs, slope to the climbing and sliding, crawling tunnel and balance surface.
Motor activities include crawling  through narrow passages, decline and climbing  on   steps of large building cubes, climbing and sliding the slide, maintaining the balance, ball games : throwing, catching, rolling , etc.   The more the babies   experience more so they will improve their abilities to more qualitative complex and coordinated movements.  In addition to the development and to the improvement of gross motor skills, the babies will achieve other important skills such as visual and spatial perception, fine motor skills, and eye – hand coordination and development of body image   and thinking. Every baby has a different development rate. The  proposed exercises suitable for babies aged three months to a year and a half. Be sure to adjust the exercises to the developmental stage of the baby. It is recommended to allow the baby a motorial room and to encourage it to experiment with a variety of positions and exercises, all this while helping to maintain  his safety and paying attention to the cooperation and to the enjoyment he feels during the exercise.

Development of balancing skills and crawling encouragement

Accompanying object: a swing which is composed of two
half-circles and half a cylinder

Exercise position: Lay the baby on his belly on the half
cylinder while supporting him in the hip and legs area.

The exercise: Swing him gently and encourage him to crawl
over the whole length of the half-cylinder.

Developmental contribution: Lying on the belly in a
number of positions encourages motorial development. The
head lifting helps to strengthen the neck and shoulder-belt
The maintenance of balance while crawling on an unstable
surface (such as a swing) assists in the development of a
healthy muscle tonus.

The development of balancing skills while passing through a narrow space

Accompanying object: a wheel which is composed of two

Exercise position: The wheel is laid on the mattress. Lay
the baby behind the wheel, hold the wheel, and position
some balls in front of him.

The exercise: Peek occasionally and encourage the baby
to pass through the wheel while playing with the balls, turn
the wheel gently.

Developmental contribution: The development of balancing
and movement stability skills through a narrow passage
contributes to the development of body-control senses and
spatial orientation.

The development of balancing skills

Accompanying objects: a wheel which is composed of two

Exercise position: Lay the wheel on the mattress
and then lay the baby on the wheel, support him at the hip with
one hand and under the chest with the other hand.

The exercise: Move the wheel backwards and forwards.

Developmental contribution: Exercises which include
lying on the belly are important for the development of
front-body senses (underbelly, belly and chest), they also
help to strengthen the neck and shoulder-belt muscles.
Balance shifting movements are significant for the
development of crawling

Development of balancing and movement skills

Accompanying objects: steps and a slide a slope for
climbing and crawling

Exercise position: (when the baby can sit on its own) lean
or position the baby on his knees with his chest and arms
leaning on the steps (afterwards the leaning will be on the

The exercise: Support the baby at the hips and legs and
encourage him to climb the steps in the direction of the

Developmental contribution: Encourages the lifting and
lowering of the hips. It is important as a preparation before
crawling, sitting, standing and walking.

Development of balancing and movement skills

Accompanying objects: steps and a slide (a slope for
climbing and crawling), and a ball pool.

Exercise position: Wheelbarrow position.

The exercise: Help the baby to disconnect both hands
one after another, and then help him to gently move
forward down the slope in the direction of the ball pool.
At a later stage the baby will slide on his belly with the
head and arms in the leading directrion.

Developmental contribution: For babies who already
crawl and sit, the slide constitutes a challenging and
cheering background for development.
They improve their movement through climbing and
sliding in both directions of gravity.

Encouragement of crawling and the development of movement skills

Accompanying object: A ball pool and cylinders

Exercise position: Lay/seat the baby in the ball pool, put
all the different sizes of cylinders and half-cylinders in front
of him.

The exercise: Sit next to the baby for support and
encourage him to exit the ball pool while positioning a ball
on one of the cylinders (which is in front).

Developmental contribution:  The edge of the ball pool is
challenging and it demands greater movement skills from
the baby in order to cross it. Through the climbing and
descending (coming down) the baby learns to coordinate
the arms and feet and improve his movement. The game
with the balls helps in developing light motorial skills and
hand-eye contact.

sensory motor activity

sensory motor activity

Activity session for sense and movement stimulation – 4 lessons for carrying out activities with the GYMBOX

Recommended for the ages of: 1-2
Under the guidance of Orna El’ad, physical education teacher (Kibutsim Seminar), certified instructor and developmental accompanier in the Feldenkrais method (Boston) and the Shel’hav method- Child space (at Asaf Haro’fe).

Lesson No. 1 – practicing walking skills

Work with the half circles (non-obligatory, can also use stairs or tunnel). Recommended from the time at which the baby starts his first steps.

Point of origin: The half circles are connected as one circle and then laid on the floor
1. Standing in front of the circle, entering and exiting the circle foot by foot
2.  Standing in front of the circle, entering the circle and walking backwards foot by foot
3.  Standing at the side of the circle, inserting the right foot, and then the left foot. Exiting the circle in the same order (the practice of side walking).
4. Standing in front of the circle, inserting one foot, and passing the other above the circle.
5. Standing in front of the circle, treading on the nearest side and entering/exiting the circle in the same way (can also be exercised with steps)
6. Walking on the circle’s edge, attaching the circle in an “S” shape and walking on the edge of the half circles.
7. Standing inside the circle, taking one leg out and walking around the circle with the outer foot (one foot is the axis foot).

Origin point:  The circle halves are connected, and the circle is laid on the floor like a wheel
8. Crawling through the circle and coming out through the other side
9. Attaching the circle to the tunnel- crawling through the circle and coming out of the tunnel on the other side.
10. Lying inside the circle and rolling from side to side (from the belly to the back and the other way round).

Lesson No. 2 – The practice of walking, crawling and climbing skills – working with steps, a slide and balls

1. Climbing the steps, sitting on the slide, and sliding down.
2. Climbing the steps, lying on the belly, extending the arms in the forward direction and sliding down
3. climbing the slope and going down the stairs
4. crawling through the tunnel (additionally- the child can bring back a ball that is left at the end of the tunnel)
5. To exchange the ball inside the tunnel (the infant would be on one side of the tunnel, and the instructor on the other side).
6. The infant sits in front of the slope and catches a ball that is rolled down from the upper side of the slide.
7. The infant sits in front of the slope of the slide and rolls a ball upwards.

Lesson No. 3 – Practicing balancing skills – Working with a balance surface

Point of origin: The infant sits at the center of the plate
1. The instructor turns the plate in both directions gently.
2. Tilting the plate from side to side gently, backwards and forwards.
3. Moving the plate continuously (to the right, backwards, to the left, forwards).
4. The infant attempts to move the plate with the help of body motions.
5. The infant sits at the end of the plate, brings his feet down to the floor and will try to move his legs in order to turn the plate.

Point of origin: The infant lies on his belly at the plate’s center
6. The infant will try to move the plate with the help of body motions.
7. The infant will bring his arms down to the floor, he will move the arms on the floor and try to rotate the plate.
8. The Infant lays his feet on the floor, with the feet’s help he rotates the plate.

Lesson No. 4 – Practicing crawling and balancing skills – working with half circles, half a little cylinder and half a big cylinder

Point of origin: The purple half circles are affixed to the half big cylinder (yellow) on both ends
1. The infant passes over the pillow by crawling or walking
2. The infant climbs up the yellow half cylinder and climbs down (pacing/jumping).

Point of origin: The purple half circles are affixed to the big half cylinder (yellow) at the center, they are not adjacent
3. Passing over bow-hurdles on the yellow big half-cylinder.

Point of origin: The yellow half-cylinder is assembled on the purple half-circles and becomes a swing, the infant is showed how to stabilize and balance himself with the help of his arms or body
4. Laying on the swing (belly/back) and swinging from side to side
5. Sitting on the swing, and regular swinging.
6. Sitting on the swing when this time the legs are on the yellow half/cylinder, and then the infant is swung from side to side.
7. Starting from the age of a year and a half or in accordance with the infant’s size, the turquoise half-cylinder is added to the yellow half/cylinder to from a whole cylinder, and exercise num. 5 can be conducted. Exercise num. 6 is this time conducted when the legs are laid on the purple half circles.

Musical experiences with the GYMBOX

Musical experiences with the GYMBOX

Ofra Cohen music terapy

The musical capabilities inherent in every infant are important for the growth, development, learning, creativeness, and his ability to express himself, with the added value of joyful and pleasant activity.
The hearing sense of the baby develops before the sense of sight, and he can identified significant sounds even before he opens his eyes.
Communication with the baby is made possible from the moment of birth using signals, motions, sounds, observation, listening, and music. Reception of signals contributes to mutual understanding between the baby and the caregiver.
Babies in their first year gain control over their speech organs: mouth, lips, tongue and vocal cords. His motor faculty is gained through strengthening of the oral organs as part of the overall development process, and the control of the speech organs allows him to produce sounds (speech, mumbling, and syllables) that comprise his music.
Musical activity for preschoolers based on motion and music from all over the world combines fun, imagination, creation, sound, color, and motion, and reinforces a
relation of love.

Composition no. 1: Cloud

Acquaintance with the GYMBOX parts in free motion of the children while listening to music

Composition no. 3: Pash Pash

The game of balls. The children are seated at the perimeter of the ball pool, hold two balls
and tap according to the tempo of the composition

Composition no. 4: Saturday Morning

Hide-and-seek using the parts of the tunnel, circle, and cylinders, played among the children or
teacher / adult and a child

Composition no. 13: Morning Jogging

Running around the GYMBOX during the first half of the composition, and sliding the slide during the second half,
and vice versa

happy Birthday with GYMBOX

happy Birthday with GYMBOX

Comming soon…

special needs

special needs

GYMBOX for children with special needs

By: Dana Azulai
Developmental accompanier in the Verdi method, Hydrotherapeutic yoga guide for young ages.
A mother of two children with special needs.

Body awareness

Body awareness

The recognition and understanding of the different body
parts at the time of their movement against a fixed space
and a changing space. It is important to initially check the
level of body awareness, the reason being that if it’s
lacking, one of the systems we’ll work on may cause

Exercising for enhancing body wareness:

Laying out a sheet on balls in a GYMBOX pool, laying the child on his
back in way that the feeling of the ball’s curves enhances
the awareness to back part of the body, in the front part we
start with the contact.

We start with a slow and deep contact, we pass all over the
body from the feet to the head, every part is touched deeply
for a couple of seconds (without forgetting to state the part
we’re touching) and then released, and then we go on to
the next body part… soles, legs, knees, belly and chest,
hands etc…

In the same way as before, it is important to conduct the
touching with other kinds of contact such as hovering
contact, patting contact or finger contact. It is desirable to
conduct the contact directly with the skin, without clothes.

We’ll pass over the body parts with which we want to
stimulate sensory feelings with the help of sensory objects
such as brushes, sponges and certain ball objects.

The crossing system

With this system we cross the middle line, afterwards we
conduct rotation (separation of upper body and lower body
with a semi-circulation of the body) which enables us to
turn over the child.

In many cases we’ll discover that unlike with normative
babies, children with disabilities have difficulties with
crossing the middle line and conducting rotations. Most of
the movements are involuntary and accompanied with
tension and an enhanced tonus. Other movements such as
turning-over or crawling are conducted as one piece and
with great effort, movement planning isn’t always existent
and therefore many times the movement ends with
frustration and crying.

Exercises: Handing out toys/balls in a challenging way:

We’ll lay them hanging above the body center in a way
which will give them no choice but to bring the hands close
to the body center.
Handing over the toys diagonally while encouraging the
opposing hand to extend in the game’s direction.
Stretching the body in rotation, shoulder and chest are
stretched to one side and the leg-hips to the other side.
We’ll put the children in the GYMBOX in a sitting posture.
In the GYMBOX we’ll add balls and even use supporting
cylinders for children who are sitting bent-down or have
difficulties sitting. We’ll hold an empty box behind the child
and ask him to fill the box with balls from the pool in a way
that they’ll have to rotate in order to turn around and lay the
balls in the box.

The vestibular system:

The balancing system has an important function even if the
infant/child can’t walk.
Children with a problem in this system experience every
movement change (especially rotational movements like
turning over) as a difficult and even frightening episode, in
order to mitigate this feeling this system should be
stimulated gradually.
In the GYMBOX there are many pieces and parts which
can serve us in our purpose:
The ‘mushroom’ should be used, it would be laid on the
belly and we would gently tilt it sideward’s while mildly
supporting the child’s body, simultaneously the child is
supposed to make an effort in order to hold his body
contrary to the movement.
The too halves of the purple circle can be attached into one
circle with a hole, the child would be placed with half his
body inside the circle and we would tilt the circle from side
to side with the child in the middle. A game can be handed
to the child at the same time.

Strengthening of the shoulder belt, the arms and the upper body:

It is recommended to use the GYMBOX’s cylinders and the
slide’s slope.
We’ll tuck a little cylinder under the arm pit in order ease the
load on the chest while laying on the belly so that the arms
would be more available for playing.
A bigger cylinder will be used in order to roll the child while
holding his/her feet or hip during the rolling-over (forward),
we want the child to send his hands in the forward direction
and to lean his body weight against them