GROSS MOTOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT: ROLLING

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WHAT IS THE MOTOR SKILL OF LOG ROLLING ?

The motor milestone of rolling is a significant event for baby because it is usually the first skill of locomotion achieved.  These skills enable baby to move from one place in the room to another all on her own for the very first time.  She can now travel across the floor to reach her favorite toy by rolling.  This sequence of rolls  one after another is referred to as “log rolling.”  Some babies learn to roll from their back to their tummy or from their tummy to their back but do not learn to roll across a room.  It is a higher level of skill development to learn the motor skill of log rolling.  It provides beneficial baby exercise and vestibular stimulation.  It also fosters independence and confidence.

 BABY COORDINATION:  THE MOTOR SKILL OF ROLLING

Observe the babies in the above videos from youtube as two examples of log rolling.  The first video is from  jlr2b’s youtube channel and the second video is from VickiEllenWilson’s youtube channel.  Each of these two babies organizes the motor skill of rolling differently.  What do I mean by “organizes the motor skill?” The term “organizes” refers to the sequencing of body parts in the execution of a movement.  In other words, what body parts moves first, which one second  third, etc.  It is an aspect of the coordination of the movement.  The two babies in the above videos may soon discover other patterns of coordination for the skill of rolling  or they may stick to the pattern that is comfortable and successful.  After all, they are traveling around the room on their own now!  Parents (and grandparents) of both babies should be very proud!  Let’s examine their patterns.

The baby girl in the first video rolls from her back to her tummy by moving both of her legs to the left.  She lifts both legs up into the air and then takes them over to the left. Once they touch the floor the rest of her body rolls.  Next, she rolls from her tummy to her back by putting her right shoulder down followed by moving her head to the right which rolls her onto her back.  The baby boy in the second video demonstrates how the weight of the head can initiate a movement.  When he is on his tummy he lifts his head very high, tilts his head to the left, and the weight of his head takes him into a roll onto his back.  From his back he initiates rolling onto his tummy by moving his chest.  He is very confident in his skill and travels around the room exploring Grandma’s feet, a pair of shoes, and a pile of papers.

BABY CONFIDENCE AND BABY INDEPENDENCE

One of the most important benefits baby receives from the motor milestone of log rolling is the confidence to travel and explore the world around her.  She becomes more independent as she no longer needs mom to bring toys to her. TIn the development of a baby, this is an emotional milestone as well as a physical one.  Baby is so proud when she can travel across the room and reach her favorite toy all on her own!  Soon, she learns she can repeat the skill whenever she desires.

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