In 2006, Katlinel and Les Hartness were awarded, by the Guinness Book of World Records, as having the largest hand carved wooden rocking horse. The horse is almost 8 feet tall and weighs a whopping 1,200 pounds. (Could you imagine the shipping charges!) This horse is used as an attraction at festivals and parties. It can be rocked on by up to 3 adults or 5 children at a time! In 2010, an Israeli carpenter beat them out by creating a 20 foot tall rocking horse. The horse took about a full year to build and cost $500,000. It is made up of two tons of wood, 20,000 screws and nails and 79 gallons of paint. It can hold more than 50 children at once. The current record holder took the title in 2014. Gao Ming of China, built a horse that is 41 feet high and 26 feet long. I don’t think I’d want my toddler riding that!
Even before a baby is born, they spend most of their time being rocked around in the womb. After birth, this same rocking motion is used to soothe baby. Rocking horses mimic this movement, and can be very calming to a child. They also encourage muscle development and balance. A child must use their core muscles to both stabilize themselves on the horse, as well as keep it moving. Another benefit of a rocking horse, is it fosters a child’s creativity. When they’re rocking they may imagine they’re a hundred different things: a pirate sailing through the seas, a race car driver speeding down the track or even a cowgirl riding through the Old West! This creative play can help develop their social and language skills, as well as encourage their imagination.