Babies and Toddlers Move and Touch to Learn! Part 2

baby walking smiling from web

Purposeful movement enhances learning and thinking. Engaging in movement helps with development of thinking in so many ways.

I had the pleasure of participating in a research project years ago about the developmental changes that occur for babies around the development of walking.  It was so fun!

It is a remarkable and inspiring stage of life when babies work relentlessly to develop the skill and coordination to walk independently!

  1. Babies develop their physical coordination and their muscles as they develop the ability to walk.  These skills will provide the foundations for later skills at running, dancing, playing sports, riding a bike, etc.
  2. Babies develop their spatial skills— they start to be able to judge how far something is from them,  and whether they can reach by extending their arms more or whether they need to move to the thing they want to touch.  They will build on these skills for many years and they will be the foundational skills for so many later skills– dancing, driving, building, geometry, and more!
  3. Babies’ sense of self and agency develops with this stage.  They feel more capable and responsible to take action, rather than waiting for someone to do things for them.  If we want them to become more capable and responsible people, we need to foster this, rather than stepping in to do everything for them!
  4. Babies develop greater judgment and memory through developing their ability to move themselves (locomotion) through their environments.
  5. Babies develop greater ability to understand the perspective of others as they develop the skill of walking.

Every time I see parents and caregivers giving their baby time to walk on their own, rather than carrying them or wheeling them in a stroller, I tell them how wonderful it is that they can give the child time to do it himself.   In our rush-rush-rush world, that time is the greatest gift adults humans can give to children who are working to become capable people.

  • Babies develop their physical coordination and their muscles as they develop the ability to walk.  These skills will provide the foundations for later skills at running, dancing, playing sports, riding a bike, etc.
  • Babies develop their spatial skills— they start to be able to judge how far something is from them,  and whether they can reach by extending their arms more or whether they need to move to the thing they want to touch.  They will build on these skills for many years and they will be the foundational skills for so many later skills– dancing, driving, building, geometry, and more!
  • Babies’ sense of self and agency develops with this stage.  They feel more capable and responsible to take action, rather than waiting for someone to do things for them.  If we want them to become more capable and responsible people, we need to foster this, rather than stepping in to do everything for them!
  • Babies develop greater judgment and memory through developing their

Did you notice how your baby’s entire world expanded and her personality came more fully alive as she started walking?  Do you make time for her to walk herself as often as possible, to reinforce all that learning and development? 

Ginny Trierweiler, Ph.D., www.bornforbrilliance.com, 303-975-6103

 

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