I'd been thinking for some time about how to allow the creche children some more chance for some big movement in the creche room. We don't have wheeled toys, not because I think they're a bad idea just because we haven't really lots of space. The children have, however, always loved the little slide that we have, the seesaw and the tunnel. I wanted something fairly small and static so that in didn't invade on anyone wanting to be quiet with the sand or some books but would give some more possibilities for people who did want to do some moving about.
If you've read any of my other entries on this blog you'll know that I believe that it can be appropriate to give children things which weren't designed to be toys so long as you're being realistic about health and safety. After some though I worked out what I was looking out for: an aerobics step. Designed to be strong, to take weight bouncing on and off it, not to slip on the floor, no sharp corners and actually quite a bit lower than the slide that everyone's comfortable with the children using.
I watched ebay for a while but eventually found one in a charity shop for just £5. It it really is the best £5 I have ever spent on creche. The first time we tried taking a step into creche I don't think the children worked out that it was to play with straight away (it's not one that's in usual toy colours) but after we encouraged a couple of the two-year-olds that we had in creche at the time to have a go stepping up and jumping down it became a hit. Now that we have a step in the room permanently and they love it. Between them the children have though of more ways of climbing up and getting down than I would have done. It's just long enough to walk along as part of a trail of climbing and balancing things and just lately it's been move up against the wall so children can stand on it to look out of the window. The persistence and complexity of the conversation about all the things going past the window that we had on Sunday was just great.