BABY ROCHEL LEARNS TO IDENTIFY HER RIBS
Baby Rochel began Stellar Caterpillar lessons when she was just a few months old. Her favorite part of the lessons were the proprioception exercises. These are the exercises where we squeeze various parts of the body as we say the name of that body part. For example, while squeezing her leg I would say, “Rochel, this is your leg.” Her mother practiced these exercises with her everyday. They are a fun game for babies. For babies, these exercises are similar to the feeling they get when being swaddled with fabric. The firm yet gentle pressure of your hands on their body feels secure just like the feeling of the swaddling cloth when it is pressing against their body. Rochel’s favorite body parts to identify through touch were her ribs and her toes.
Today Rochel is three years old and attends preschool. I had the chance to talk with her mother recently and she proudly told me a story about Rochel. “Last week at preschool, Rochel fell down. The teacher asked her is she was OK and Rochel told her that her “ribs hurt.” The teacher asked me, “How does 3-year-old Rochel even know she has ribs?” I explained to her that we learned exercises to do with her when she was a baby that taught her the names of her body parts.” Most 3-year -olds would refer to the area of the ribs as their “side” or just say “it hurts here” as they touch it. To identify the ribs by name shows quite a bit of learning. This is why Rochel is one of our superstars!!!
Even though babies may not be able to speak yet, they can learn far more than we can understand. Through the use of the sense of touch, the spoken name of the body part, and with repetition, Rochel and many other babies develop a very clear awareness of their body and the names of their body parts. The development of body awareness is an important part of motor skill development. Through these exercises, many babies can develop a strong sense of body awareness just like Rochel.