How to use a second-hand ladder to develop movement skills

Editor’s note: This post was updated on May 6, 2020.

One considerably cold day a few years ago I was forced to use all my creativity to entertain and occupy my daughter. She was three. Blankets and easels became forts. Birthday party balloons inspired balloon volleyball, and broken wands became makeshift tennis rackets. Anything to keep her busy and active — and away from Caillou. Shudder.

I can’t be the only mom or dad to get their DIY going just to keep their child happy. We’ve all been there and learned first hand that necessity truly is the mother of invention. But the real “mother of invention” may just be Katy Bowman. She’s a mom to two kids, a biomechanist, and the founder of the site Nutritious Movement. She brought home a second-hand ladder one day and has been using it as a fun piece of equipment to help her kids have fun and develop fundamental movement skills.

The ladder became a balance beam, a monkey bar-set, and of course, the ultimate climbing tool to keep her kids, and her, moving and learning. Check out her blog post to look at pictures of her kids (and Katy herself) playing with the ladder and see if you don’t get a little inspired to pick up one of your own.

Have you created any DIY activities that help your kids develop skills? We’d love to hear. Tell us in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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