Sunday, August 21, 2011

Motor Skill Development

The fun part of writing this column is to watch the little ones in our community and out of those observations, share some aspect of development with readers. This week, during our lovely August weather, a young mom was outdoors with her one year old. They were taking a walk.
Babies, almost immediately after birth, have a drive to exercise their muscles to go from prone–to upright and walking in only a little more time then the time it took to grow from conception to birth.
They gain control, first of the head and trunk. Little by little as we carry our baby, we begin to minimize our careful support of the head as the neck and trunk muscles grow stronger. When babies are placed on the floor on their tummies, they further exercise these muscles and those in their arms and shoulders as the lift first the head and later the chest from the floor.
Growing even stronger, the muscles in the legs and back help them to flip over onto their backs. We often see a startled look as if baby did not quite know what happened. Soon a twisting and arching motion will flip a baby back to his tummy. At this point a baby may use the roll from tummy to back to tummy to help explore and locate a favorite toy. Pretty soon the baby will be up on hands and knees, sometimes crawling on hands and knees or sometimes doing the army crawl on forearms and tummy.
Whatever way baby moves about on the floor, there will be a time when the urge to stand and then to take wobbly steps will take over. Crawling will become a mobility method of the past, unless of course, speed is the priority!

Busy busy busy busy
Busy little squirrel
Running running jumping
In a dizzy whirl
Stopping now and then to eat
A tasty little acorn treat
Busy busy busy busy
Busy little squirrel

Pantomime or sign some of the key words in the poem.

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