Cury Wooden Balance Board by Young & Learning at Nurture CollectiveWith the very exciting launch of the Waldorf inspired wooden balance boards now available over in our Toy Shop we’re eager to talk to one-half of the founders of Young & Learning; Maria Bateller all about the benefits of these boards and how they can help tremendously with co-ordination and posture and particularly any sensory input issues.

Tell us the story behind your business: Young & Learning what inspired you?

My inspiration comes from different life experiences that all clicked together and made sense after the biggest experience of my life, becoming a mum

Before having children, my partner and I loved scuba diving holidays. But every time we dived into the oceans we observed the detrimental effect of carbon monoxide and plastics on our oceans and the planet.

Since having my first child, I watched her playing and learning. Because of my innate curiosity and thanks to googling at 3 am whilst breastfeeding, I came across the studies of child development, the different learning philosophies (Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, etc.) and the importance of movement in the early years. This started an obsession I began researching and reading everything I could find.

In 2017, after finding out, we were having a second child we wanted to do more to protect our planet and provide a better world for our children. We decided to create Young & Learning, a business as a force for good to reduce toy waste by making products that are loved, played with, encourage child development and last for years. My background is in engineering and my partner’s experience in product development, quality and reliability also helped to get the business up and running.

Give us the low down on Curvy boards what are they and what do they do?

I love this question, whenever someone asks what Curvy balance board is, my answer is straightforward: Whatever you want it to be. A curvy balance board is an open-ended toy, which means there’s no right or wrong way to play with it and it can be anything your imagination tells you ie. a boat, a table, a chair, a slide, a rocking chair, a fort etc..   They promote imagination and creativity and keep children moving

Curvy Board wooden curve board by young and learning
Cury Wooden Balance Board by Young & Learning at Nurture Collective
Cury Wooden Balance Boards by Young & Learning at Nurture Collective

Are Curvy boards for everyone?

Yes! They are for everyone! Anyone aged 0 to 100 years old that is young at heart and even our dog has a little play with them every now and again 😀 We’ve had from tiny new-born babies to 85-year-olds using our boards. The beauty of Curvy balance board is that at different ages Curvy board is used for different things, but that’s good news as it is one toy that will last for a generation.

If you were to choose any of the Nurture Collectives value icons which three would you decide which best represent Young & Learning?

This is a difficult one as most of Nurture Collective values align with Young & Learning values. But if I have to choose only 3, then it would be Natural, sustainable and eco-conscious

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Curvy board?

Once I put my kids to bed, I still need to deal with emails, blog, events, orders, etc. but after a full-on and busy day I need to get some energy somehow back and clear my mind and get some inspiration so when I come down first thing I do is rocking on the Curvy balance board

Two Child Playing with the Wooden Balance Boards by Young & Learning at Nurture CollectiveBeing aware of the lifecycle of items what can people do when they have finished with their Curvy boards?

Once a family has enjoyed their Curvy balance board, they can pass it on to other family or friends or it can be upcycled into something else (a shelf for the wall, maybe? 😉 If someone decides to put it into landfill the materials are biodegradable so will break down and not pollute the earth.

Home Family picture by young and learning

Tell us more about the Waldorf- Rudolph Steiner connection with balance boards and how it can benefit? 

Children up to the age seven live primarily through their senses and learn best through play.

The Waldorf philosophy of education in the early years provide sensory environments (with natural materials and open ended resources) and learning through play activities that encourage children to investigate the world and broad their imagination. These activities are crucial foundations for intellectual, emotional, and physical development.

Curvy balance boards are an excellent open-ended resource for Waldorf schools as they are made of natural materials and promote imagination and creativity at the same as improving child development by playing.

We are proud to focus on only a handful of things at the time so we can put our heart into creating toys that are of high quality, safe and naturally enjoyable for children to learn through play.

Want to find out more? Shop the full range here: Cury Wooden Balance Boards

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