The balancing animals the duck Duckster and the horse Stardust are designed by Ulrika Liffner and Josefine Wahlström for The Snowroom. The animals are made for preschools as well as for waiting areas and for the home. The ambition was to keep motor practice fun and allow the children to be innovative in their play with these. Adults can help children reach their full potential through practicing balance together with them.
The balance duck Duckster is designed for children between the ages of 2-4. The younger child can start practicing by sitting at the back of the duck while secured in its stand in the shape of a wave. The stand give support to prevent the rocking function until the child can reach the floor on both sides on the duck by itself. An adult should at all times help the younger child to practice balance on these animals.
The Stardust horse is meant for slightly older children from the age of 3-6. This horse is higher and more of a challenge to climb. When the child sits at the back of the horse lifting both feet it is a wobbly ride and gives a good balance activity. Holding both feet on either side of the horse gives more stability.
The child can easily find other areas of play apart from rocking and riding the animals. Observing children playing with them, the designers recorded their favorite games. It was extremely popular to tip both shapes over and jump from them and climb over them. The smaller children sat leaning against the duck’s curved back as a balance support while the older children fed the horse and pretended to take it for a walk. There are many ways to use the balance animals and apart from playing with them they work well as a low stool one by one or stacked to a higher seating.
Images by: Carl-Robert Jonzon
The balance animals are fun and functional products for preschools for example and come in happy coloured nylon fabrics as standard, easy to wash. But since we design furniture for public spaces it is obvious for us that children also often need their own space next to the adult environment. When waiting at the bank or at the hairdressers the kids need something more than a box with broken toys Duckster and Stardust can be ordered specially in wool fabrics in many colours and therefore be matched up with textiles in the lounge area. There is no need to compromise with good design for children…
–Ulrika Liffner, The Snowroom