Roll the Ball Baby Game

As those of you with glasses can attest (why-o-why Grandma!), sight is hereditary.  But wait! Experience has a huge role too!  Especially in learning and sharpening many visual abilities, such as shape, size, and spatial orientation skills;  fine & large movement coordination skills; and visual abstraction skills. Experience has its biggest impact on kids’ visual abilities until the age of 2 and tapers off until 8 or so years old.  Make sure to let your baby’s eyes get exposed to a variety of situations, details, features, and so on.  Many of these visual experiences can easily be paired with fun activities or engaging other senses!

Take a ball and roll it back and forth between you and him.  Sitting in a straddle position with his legs out will be easy for the ball to stay within his reach.  Take turns rolling it back and forth to each other.  As he gets older, make the distance greater between you two.  For instance, if he is 9 months, maybe only sit a couple of feet apart.  If he is 2 years old, you could go half way across the room, and he can even stand to catch the rolling ball!

9-24M

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Crawling- Proprioception Exercises

Proprioception exercises for baby aims to let them feel or gain a sense of what their body will feel like in a certain movement (such as crawling, rolling) before actually doing the movement.  It is useful to help teach baby what they can do or even help their movements become more efficient or inline.  When your baby becomes more aware of a specific sensation or part of their body, they are more likely to use them.

If your little one has not yet crawled or is belly crawling or scooting, you can try this proprioception exercise.  Take turns gently squeezing each of his knees, specifically the area he will bear weight when he is in the crawling position.  Let him get a clear feeling of how his muscles and bones feel in this area.  Do the same for his hands, specifically the palm or heel of his hands.  Do this for at least 3-5 minutes.

9-10 Months

Pulling to Stand

Your baby may be pulling to a standing position at this point.  They may or may not be crawling or cruising yet, but they use their arm muscles and begin to pull their body up as their legs push down.  Here is a way to help your baby along the way.

You can help your baby by activating his body through touch to let him learn the appropriate sensations necessary for an optimal stance.  Lay him down and take one heel.  With your thumb, firmly press on the center of his heel.  Repeat a few times and then do the other heel.  This physical therapy technique helps at any stage, regardless if the baby is at the cusp of pulling to stand or already pulling to stand.  The touch associated with his heel will teach his body to learn an appropriate standing position that gives him an optimal chance of power in his legs and balance.

8-12 Months

Lessons on Sitting Motor Baby Activity

The months of play times on their tummy and perfecting their roll has now set your baby up to sit on their own.  Some parents will put their baby in the sitting position and catch them when they topple over.  This usually means the baby is not truly ready to sit on their own.  Babies’ muscles need to be strong enough to hold their body upright, with good posture and alignment of the spine, while fending off gravity.  Babies need to perfect the art of rolling both ways before they can tackle more advanced skills such as: pushing to sit from laying down or getting out of the sitting position.

If your baby has not learned to roll both ways yet, focus on practicing that versus letting her sit prematurely.  Allow her to develop the muscles and balance to push herself to a sitting position.  If your baby is rolling both ways and is beginning to try to push to sit, encourage and support her just enough to help the learning process while allowing her to exercise those muscles and doing it on her own giving her a sense of independence.  If your baby has been able to sit, allow her to perfect this skill and movement through enticing her to sit up or lay back down through play.  This will help your baby not just meet but master this milestone.

6-9 Months

Hands & Feet Motor Baby Activity

What a discovery when babies are able to grab their little feet!  This is an important motor skill development!  Have fun with your little one with a game!

Bring her feet together as if they were clapping together.  When they come together, make a big facial expression to show your excitement and describe what you are doing.  Continue to open and close her feet all while talking to her and making facial expressions so she knows you like what she is doing.  You can even touch her hands and bring them towards her feet so she grabs her own feet. Giving her positive feedback while touching her hands and feet brings her attention to these sensations and increases her awareness of these body parts.

4-8 Months