FLOOR TIME AS BABY PLAY
Babies learn their motor skills through lots of baby play. Floor time provides opportunity for play and exploration of movement. In the above photo Zizu spends time on her tummy and discovers the benefit of pressing the hands down into the floor while lifting her head. Zizu feels this advantage and will continue to repeat the movement which both strengthens her arms and prepares her for the motor skill of crawling. This is just one example. A baby may pick up an interesting rattle and while curiously examining it she may roll onto her back. This is the beginning of the coordination of the motor skill of rolling. It begins with baby curiosity and the floor space to explore both the toy and her own body movements. An important parenting tip is that floor time should always be supervised and toys should be age appropriate.
FLOOR TIME AS BABY EXERCISE
Time on the floor also provides the opportunity for baby exercise. Kicking and reaching arms and legs, pushing hands into the floor, rolling, and belly crawling use babies muscles in a manner that is equivalent to a “gym workout.” The key is that they move themselves. Motivated by their curiosity, once they “try a new move” they are intrigued and want to repeat it a several times. Play mat time offers great exercise for baby! And yet another benefit of baby exercise is the prevention of obesity. We discussed this in one of our previous posts by examining a Wall Street Journal article from 2011. This article encouraged reducing sedentary activities with baby (time in car seats, strollers, bouncy seats and watching TV) and increasing floor time on a baby play mat as part of an anti-obesity campaign in England.
TOP 5 BENEFITS for baby OF FLOOR TIME
- Fosters improved motor skill development
- Develops balance and coordination
- Creates time for baby curiosity and exploration
- Provides opportunity for baby exercise
- Follows anti-obesity campaign parenting tips