For ages I’ve been thinking about getting the girls one of those wooden curved boards that kids (and adults) can work on their balance on and get rid of some of that excess energy, but just haven’t gotten around to actually buying one. So when Csilla from SaltyFun got in touch asking if I’d like to try out a Creatimber board she recently started selling in her web shop I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Before long the board moved in with us and the girls were instantly all over it. They use it as a slide, a bridge, a seesaw, a bed, a tunnel etc. The beauty of balance boards is, in my opinion, the simplicity. How can a modest curved piece of wood be so attractive to children and be used in so many different ways?! I quickly discovered it is a lovely place to rock back and forth lying on my back on – with a cushion underneath my head. Lana even asked if she could sleep on it haha.
So what does the board actually do, apart from bringing out the creativity in children? It improves children’s body awareness, spatial awareness, balance and coordination skills as well as builds self confidence and encourages them to move. The Creatimber is also eco-friendly and handmade – plus it looks nice and blends in with the decor!
There is actually a lovely story behind the Creatimber boards. It is a Hungarian husband and wife team living on the countryside just outside Budapest who created the board. They wanted to stay away from noisy plastic toys and actually made a lot of toys for their children themselves. Their children attended a Steiner kindergarten where balance boards have been used for a long time, and failing to find a European store or manufacturer selling them they decided to make one in their own workshop at home. This was 2011.
The board became popular among their friends and soon they had so many production requests that they started thinking about starting a balance board business. Things went well, and since 2013 Creatimber has been present in many European countries. With the growing success it could have been tempting to switch to large-scale factory production, but that would’ve been against the Creatimber values and it wouldn’t have been possible to maintain a personal relationship with every board that is made.
I have to mention here though that the board isn’t suitable for children under three – unless supervised by an adult. So for Maya the board is just a little slide or bridge she can walk or crawl over. Which she loves doing! Lana can stand and balance on the board, but she needs practise still. The board isn’t heavy for an adult (it weighs 3 kg), but for a four-year-old it can be, so I would advise parents to not let their small children try and lift the board as it can fall on their toes (exactly what happened to Lana). You also need to be careful no toes or fingers get caught underneath the board – but the more you use it the safer it’ll be.
I enjoy watching how much fun the girls have with the board. They particularly like using it as a slide, and even though it is the tiniest slide they still love it and come up with more and more ways to come down!
If you’re thinking about getting your own Creatimber you can buy one here. There are different colour options too! Is this something you think your kids would like?
x Nina x