Aeroplanes & gross motor fun!


 
After driving over an hour, paying exorbitant parking fees* and waving goodbye to visiting grandparents, we thought we’d make the most of our recent trip to the airport!

We found a departure lounge with an impressive view of domestic landings and take-offs, and spent a while just sitting back, allowing our little one to enjoy the show! 

 
There was a lot of  “Reeoooowwww”-ing, arms out to the side ‘gliding’ along the corridor joining the departure lounges, and face glued to the windows in awe!
It was a great opportunity for 2 year old B to practise more words, talk about how we travel to visit family overseas (and vice versa), analyse how the planes move about, and identify different parts of the planes and the airport ‘hustle and bustle’ – including the little trucks with trailers carrying luggage and the food containers being lifted up into the plane.  

 
Although we weren’t there long, our little trip to the airport certainly sparked an enthusiasm for planes and all things that fly! Since then, he has been quick to point out and imitate all the planes he spies or hears in the sky - a frequent occurrence living near a small scale airport! He has also loved playing with his little toy planes around the house, enjoying the aeroplane wall stickers and mobile in his room, and turning lots of other objects into planes (more beautiful symbolic play).
...and a quick cuddle for the "ha ha" at the airport
We’ve sung a lot of our favourite Play School song too (warning:  tricky lyrics ahead):
“Up in the air we fly, zoom, zoom, a zoom a zoom zoom,
 Up in the air we fly, zoom, zoom, a zoom a zoom zoom,
Zoooooom! Zoooooom! Zooom, zoom a zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom!
Zoooooom! Zoooooom! Zooom, zoom a zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom!”
10 plane-themed toddler activities for 
gross motor skill development: 
1. 'Follow the Leader' with arms out to the side (straight and strong) like an aeroplane - flying slow (walking), flying fast (running), flying low (bending down), flying high (tippy toes); 
2.  Crouching down low, hands on the ground, then jumping up for "3, 2, 1, ...take -off";
3. Spacing out cones or buckets (or anything else) in a line, then flying 'slalom'  - this is a fabulous activity and lots of fun at the park as well as the beach; 
4. 'Stop and Go' - flying all over the place like a busy plane, stopping and going when the words are shouted out by the 'pilot';
5. Aeroplane mirror tricks- standing in front of each other, no words - just looking and copying - arms out to side and bending to the right, the left, twisting one way then the other, turning 360', going low, going high...
6. Flying on the ground - lying face down on the ground, lifting arms up off the ground in front (as per Superman) - one arm at a time, then both arms, then try lifting a leg up off the ground one at a time/ both together... Then starting with arms straight in front (still lying on tummy), and turning from one side (hip) to the other- lifting one arm 'wing' out to the side when balancing on the side...
7. Balancing on mum/dad and flying - mum/dad lies down on back, brings knees up, holds littlie's hands - and lifts feet up, with little aeroplane baby 'flying' on tummy lying on mum/dad's knees and lower legs - does that make sense?! - let me know if I need to post a photo!! haha!
8. 'Whizzying planes' -  Swinging around/ up and down, on mum/dad's hip... (go slow and take plenty of breaks, watching to check that the little one is ok with this kind of spinning movement). (Safety note: swinging children around holding their hands, can potentially damage or put excessive strain on the ligaments and nerves around the shoulder joints in particular - so be super careful!!)
9. Drawing a 'chalk on concrete' or 'line in the sand' path for the 'aeroplane' to follow;
10. (Make,) fly, chase and catch paper planes in the garden :-) Forgotten how to make a paper plane? ... Here's how to make a simple paper airplane!


* I'm still classifying this activity as 'free', as plane-watching can happen outside of the airport itself, and if dropped off by a family member - it could be free! 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to check out these other ideas from Kids' Play Space:
Toddler Travel Timetable - how to explain to a toddler what to expect on a loooooong journey!

Construction Sticks - a simple DIY , fun, travel toy
Suitcase Baby Gym  - using a suitcase as a play space on holidays

Thanks for visiting Kids' Play Space!
happy playing,
'til soon,


Anna :-) 

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