The Importance of Tummy Time
When a baby is young, there are specific motor and visual motor developmental milestones that are important to their overall development. Some of these milestones include the baby being able to lift and support its own head and neck against gravity, weight shifting up and over their body on their hands and arms, and discriminating between things close and far away.
This in turn helps develop strong abdominal muscles that allow them sit up, stand, and eventually walk, be able to weight shift on just their legs, and tracking objects with their eyes. Once they have developed these core muscles, all other positioning they need to sit for school activities comes easier and more natural.
This is where the problem lies with school age children. The effect of not getting tummy time as little babies becomes very evident when the child starts preschool or kindergarten. Children in school are expected to obey the rules by sitting still when they need to and listening to the teacher in the front of the class at the board.
Children who fidget in their seats and do not keep their eyes on the teacher when she is speaking are thought to be disruptive and hyperactive children. But can all this actually go back to the fact that these children have not developed these milestones when they sound have, and so have not developed the core muscle strength that allows them to sit and be able to concentrate when asked to.
It is still never too late to start tummy time with our children. Many improvements have been seen in children’s focus and attention when they engage in activities while on their tummies.
In review, some basic skills that tummy time helps to develop are:
• Crawling and scooting which leads to walking
• Balance and Coordination (which helps them in play and exploring their environment).
• Eye-hand coordination (writing, visual/motor skills, scissor skills)
• Calming (Allows children to concentrate on tasks they are asked to do in school work, like listening to a teacher at the front of the class).
• Confidence and Independence
Activities that our students do on their tummy
· Drawing & Colouring
· Social Skill Activities
· Reading & Writing Activities
· Fine Motor, Hand Eye Coordination and Manipulative Activities