Music, movement and crawling are important in your baby and toddler’s early development. Babies love to synchronise movement to music, so why not have some fun with a gentle bounce to the beat. Babies need lots of opportunity to move freely and develop skills like reaching, rolling, sitting up and crawling before they start to walk. Physical activity in a safe space can provide endless stimulation for babies to learn about the world around them.
Crawling is commonly considered an important milestone of development in a baby’s life. Here are 7 reasons why children need to crawl from our friends at Primed for Life, who are advocates for a wider understanding of the body as a child’s first place of learning:
- For cross lateral crawling which helps speed later motor and intellectual development
- Because it integrates the two sides of the body which supports the different parts of our brain to connect and speak to each other
- Crawling involves motor planning or ‘praxis’ and this is important so that we don’t have to use valuable brain space ‘thinking’ how to move in a certain way
- It’s important for visual development
- Being mobile helps build physical independence
- Crawling on hands and knees strengthens shoulder and hip muscles and reinforces a developing sense of balance and body awareness
- To crawl on all fours, the palm of the hand needs to open out. Keeping baby’s fingers curled in an affect the way a child learns to form a comfortable grip writing later on, for example
Learn more in Anne O Conner and Anna Daly’s Understanding Physical Development in the Early Years/Linking Bodies and Minds (Routledge press).
Why not take advantage of the energy and joy of dancing with you baby whenever you can… not only is it important for your baby and toddler to move, it can do you good too! Children love to see the people who care for them singing and dancing and, when they get to join in and dance with others, it is a tremendous benefit for their social awareness. Dancing together also helps to create an emotional bond.
Ludus Dance’s Space Babies class, led by experienced community dance artist Anna Daly who specialises in working with early years and families, on Monday mornings, are expertly planned for you and baby. Find out more about this class.