We had a great time with our latest activity, an indoor Winter Wonderland. It was full of fun and great gross motor play too! Grab your winter coat and hat and join in the fun 🙂
- Cut out snowflakes and do a Snowflake Walk.
- Shake those same snowflakes in your hands while boogieing down and doing a Snowflake Dance.
- Tie some ribbon or string onto the snowflakes, tape them to the ceiling, and walk/run through the snow! (We did this in a circle around our ottoman and sang songs like “All Around the Mulberry Bush”)
- Have a snowball fight with balled up socks.
- Go sledding by pulling/pushing your kid around in a plastic under-the-bed storage box (great for the core and vestibular processing!)
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One thing I’ve learned in dealing with Trevor’s motor delays is that you’ve got to get creative. When I first had Trevor I assumed Tummy Time meant lying stomach-down on a mat, and that was it. Due to his hypotonia he hated Tummy Time and screamed pretty much the second he was placed face down on the ground. At first that meant we didn’t do a lot of Tummy Time. But eventually I ended up learning some alternative ways to do Tummy Time. I actually still do this activity with Trevor to work on strengthening his weaker core muscles, but it is also an excellent activity to do with your baby! And with Paige being my second child she is lucky enough (or unfortunate enough, depending on how you look at it, lol) to take part in these activities from the get-go. For the most part I’m more laid-back this time around. But when it comes to motor development I have a little parenting PTSD, and so Paige gets tons of Tummy Time.
The best way for a child to enjoy Tummy Time I’ve discovered is to get them up off the ground. Being on the ground and not being able to move themselves is frustrating. So dig out that old exercise ball that you never use and put you baby on it! It’s a great way for them to strengthen their muscles. If you have a mirror down low like we do, have your baby do this in front of the mirror. Babies love looking in mirrors! If you don’t have a mirror down low, position yourself or someone else in front of your baby so they have someone to look at. Babies love looking at faces too.
Paige coos and smiles at herself when we do this. She loves it! Although given her age, she only loves it for short periods of time 😉 But it’s a fun alternative to the traditional method of Tummy Time. I’m looking forward to sharing other Tummy Time activities too!
(And I’m sure I don’t have to say this, but make sure you hold on tightly to your baby, as they are up off the floor.)
Tummy Time is not just for babies. Doing Tummy Time activities is a great way to strengthen the core, an area that Trevor still needs a lot of help in. One of the fun ways to do Tummy Time with a toddler is by doing “Superman” on an exercise ball. Trevor lays on top of the ball and reaches out, Superman style. To make it more interesting and to encourage extension I usually have a musical toy for him to press, or a container for him to drop small objects into. Today we used his multicolored pegs, but you can use bean bags, Easter eggs, or other small toys.
Dropping a toy in:
Being a goofball and trying to drop one in with his mouth:
Putting another one in:
One of Trevor’s biggest barriers in gaining new gross motor skills are his weak core muscles. You don’t realize how much your core muscles contribute to balance and physical ability until you see someone with low tone in their trunk. I would love to get Trevor involved in hippotherapy, as I’ve heard that is one of the best ways to develop core strength. Unfortunately there aren’t any stables involved in hippotherapy in our area 😦 So for now we do other exercises to strengthen his core. One way we do that is by using an exercise ball. Trevor sits on top of the ball and I hold his hips, moving him side to side and front to back on the ball, as well as bouncing him up and down. To make Trevor more comfortable on the ball we often look at books (his favorite thing in the world), or sing songs (his second favorite thing in the world). Sometimes I make up songs about the characters in his books, and that makes him really happy!