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  • Writer's pictureElena Diehl

Your Baby's Brilliant Body!

What fun it is to wiggle, bounce, balance, poke, and experiment with all the ways we can move our different body parts!

This concept is amazing for your little one’s developing kinesthesia, otherwise known as getting to know their body from the inside out. Kinesthesia is developed over time through your little one’s growing awareness of their brilliant body parts (body part differentiation) and how isolated body parts coordinate and interact with the others.

Babies are building their “map of me”, connecting their high head down to their low toes, discovering their hands and feet, and bringing them to their mouth to explore before beginning to roll, belly crawl, and creep on all fours. Discovery and physical exploration of their amazing body parts during infancy develops the “downstairs” part of their brain that is needed for lifelong learning. Locating, naming, caressing, and moving all their brilliant body parts helps develop your baby’s kinesthesia or “map of me”.

Your Waddler is on the move pulling up and cruising, and beginning to walk independently. During this season, they are gaining control of the large muscles that coordinate their gross motor movements and will likely crave movement activities that challenge their vestibular (balance) system. Think of activities that whoosh, jump, spin, stop and start, or go back and forth between moving in one spot vs. locomoting all-around. These types of motor challenges are hugely beneficial to strengthening their vestibular system and their newly developing impulse control. Repetition and persistence with your waddler precede future skill development.

By this season of development, your Toddler is well on their way to mastering their gross motor coordination and balance. Because their maturing brain is developing a detailed map of their body parts and how to use them separate from one another, toddlers delight in isolating movement in one body part while holding the rest of their body still. Revisiting movement activities while adding “just right” challenges will support their growing confidence and ability to use prior experiences to take new physical risks and grow their motor skills. Your toddler’s independence is blossoming, they are starting to “plan” their next move, and are learning to wait and take turns.

As your little one (bigger kids and grown-ups, too) becomes more fluid and coordinated with their movements, they are also creating strong neural networks in their brains, which allow them to problem solve, future cast, recall previous experiences to inform their choices...all the critical thinking skills they need as they grow all the way into adulthood. Refining the body refines the brain...Exciting stuff!


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