Muscular Education 141
Every now and then, the little ones of two and one half and three years would drop out from the marching line, evidently being tired; but instead of sitting down on the ground or on the chairs, they would run to the little fence and catching hold of the upper line of wire they would walk along sideways, resting their feet on the wire which was nearest the ground. That this gave them a great deal of pleasure, was evident from the way in which they laughed as, with bright eyes, they watched their larger companions who were marching about. The truth was that these little ones had solved one of my problems in a very practical way. They moved themselves along on the wires, pulling their bodies sideways. In this way, they moved their limbs without throwing upon them the weight of the body. Such an apparatus placed in the gymnasium for little children, will enable them to fulfil the need which they feel of throwing themselves on the floor and kicking their legs in the air; for the movements they make on the little fence correspond even more correctly to the same physical needs. Therefore, I advise the manufacture of this little fence for use in children's playrooms. It can be constructed of parallel bars supported by upright poles firmly fixed on to the heavy base. The children, while playing upon this little fence, will be able to look out and see with great pleasure what the other children are doing in the room.
Other pieces of gymnasium apparatus can be constructed upon the same plan, that is, having as their aim the furnishing of the child with a proper outlet for his individual activities. One of the things invented by Seguin to develop the lower limbs, and especially to strengthen the articulation of the knee in weak children, is the trampolino.