Fall Gross Motor outdoor fun

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The leaves are falling and the air is cooler. Now is a fantastic time to get outside with your little ones.  Take a walk and talk about what you see. Don’t forget to stop and crunch some leaves under your feet. Great games to play that are simple:

1.) Kick or stomp leaves in the yard. If you are really fun loving, pile them up and play in them! Some of our best pictures are of our kids surrounded by leaves.

2.) Collect the “tree trash” under a tree. Look for the nuts, sticks, leaves, etc and talk about them with your children.

3.) Grab your sidewalk chalk, a bag of balls, and riding toys. Enjoy the last few cooler days before you have to bundle up for the snow!

4.) Take a cup or bucket out to collect interesting things.

5.) Bubbles are ALWAYS fun! One of our favorites was to use a cookie sheet or large pot with soapy water (really just need dishwashing soap and water) and dip spatulas, colander spoons, or all types of interesting kitchen things in the water and see which ones made the best bubbles. You will be surprised at the winner! We had a few cookie cutters that were excellent!

The point is to not let the shorter days and school schedules bog you down! Get outside and find your inner kid!

For more ideas on how to play to enhance development, click HERE for available books.

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My Toddler seems to fall all the time…

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I received emails today from two different moms concerned about their toddler falling. My first response would be that some falling is normal and necessary for the learning and maturation process of walking. Of course, we don’t ever want our children to fall down, but some falling will occur as they learn to maneuver with and without shoes and over a variety of surfaces.

If your toddler just began walking, keep him/her barefoot inside as much as possible to keep his/her feet in contact with surface changes and allow his/her foot to begin to mature in strength. When going outside, please put on shoes for protection. See my What kind of shoes should I buy page for more information on this.

If your toddle is still falling a lot and has been walking for more than just a couple of weeks, don’t panic but do work on some simple games to help him/her watch where he/she is going:

1.) Play STOP/START: Hold your toddler’s hand and say “Ready, Set, Go!” and help them “run” then say “STOP” and cue them to stop. Do this over and over and make it SILLY and FUN!!!  Your child will begin to get the hang of the game and LOVE it. This will help him/her be more aware of your commands (particularly if they are running toward a busy street) and will help them learn to pay more attention.

2.) Play a the same game with an obstacle in your path (a kitchen chair). Run up to it and say “STOP” and then teach them to sneak around to go again!  Use your imagination but give your child the idea to look where they are going.

3.) Go back to the floor to play….WHAT??? Yes to the floor!!!  Get in a habit of spending some time each day doing a puzzle or blocks or something that you can communicate and have your child work on a fine motor skill. This will teach him/her to fall less. I promise! I have seen it dozens of times!  Your little one needs to learn to slow down and play. Walking is so much fun but it breeds a lot of bulls in china shops!

I hope this helps. There are so many more strategies to teach. I will be working on balance skills soon in an upcoming publication!  Check back soon!

For ideas on how to play more effectively to enhance development, click HERE

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My baby was walking and now has stopped

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 FIRST: If your baby is limping or was walking A LOT and now stopped, please have them evaluated to make sure no other problems exist. This post is for new walkers with no limping etc.

I have been promising to post on this to the number of you who have emailed me about this. I will tell you that this is a normal part of the development of some babies. Let me explain:

Starting to walk is a very challenging activity. Your baby has to control a large number of muscles and joints as well as balance on two very small feet. As your child develops the courage and skills to take the first few steps, he or she may want to do it over and over to your cheers and praise. Soon, however, the praise is not enough to counteract the fact that sometimes your baby will fall. Falling is wonderful and terrible at the same time. A pediatric PT would work on practicing falling with controlled falling games and songs. This way, your child would develop the ability and the confidence to get down from standing. Falls teach your baby a lot about the world.

Let’s review a few principles:

1.) Always work on short distances when practicing walking. Keep the distance short–maybe one or two steps only at first. Keep it here for awhile. Don’t push too hard. Soon enough your little one will venture further.

2.) NEVER back up. Always give your cutie a solid and dependable stopping point. How awful if you were trying to walk a tight rope and someone kept extending the end point! You would be scared and less willing to do it again. The same is true for your baby.

3.) Falling teaches a LOT. A baby needs to learn what he or she did wrong. Provide a carpeted or soft surface to practice so that the falls don’t hurt so much but have the value of teaching. PRACTICE falling with games like Ring Around the Rosie.

4.) Some babies will pull to stand and not know how to get down. You may find your baby standing in his or her crib crying and not know why. It is possible that they don’t know how to get down. Work on up and down games with a bucket of blocks. 5.) Have fun and BE PATIENT! Enjoy this time. It is precious!  Also, your baby may look very funny at first. Give him or her time to develop walking skills and watch the gait pattern change. Video early steps. His or her arms will usually be high and feet wide. Video again about every week or so and watch the arms drop and the feet get closer. See my pages on toeing in and out for answers about that.

Now, getting back to the original question: Why has my baby stopped walking?

Most of the time, a baby is fascinated with standing and taking steps, and then the fascination wears off. A bad fall could also affect this. You may not even know that your baby had a scary fall. Either way, walking is a lot of work at first. Getting around on hands and knees is faster, so your baby will most likely want to revert to this for awhile. Don’t push, he or she will return to standing soon enough. There are some tricks to helping this. Several are outlined in my book; but a basic one is to always demand that your baby stand to be picked up. Do this subtly and he or she will never know!

For ideas on how to play with your child to enhance development, see available books HERE

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Summer is here!

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Don’t forget to get OUTSIDE! It is the perfect time to work on gross motor skills. Here are a few wonderful activities”

1.) WHEN YOUR GRASS NEEDS CUTTING: Take your little toddler for a walk and have him or her walk through the tall grass. This is especially good for those kiddos with weaker hips and legs.

2.) Sit on a blanket: Sit outside and enjoy the cool breeze under a tree while on a blanket. You can work with a young baby on all the wonderful sitting skills and strategies that you have learned with your therapist. This is a great way to work on tummy time too. Your baby will love all the new sights and sounds and be more distracted, making it easier to keep him or her in this position.

3.) For the older kids or walking toddlers: Go for a walk and take your time! Don’t be in a rush or worry about the actual distance. Stop to look at an insect on the sidewalk, show your child a wild flower (don’t get me started on weeds–I LOVE them  — They are the BEST!). Clover flower necklaces, pop weeds, dandelions (before seeds they are so pretty and after they make excellent practice for blowing). There are leaves, rocks, sticks…..so MUCH to play with. Show your child how a stick comes from a tree limb.That is not so obvious to your child as you might think. The tree “trash” we used to call it is the “stuff” beneath a tree. It tells you what type of tree you are under. Look for acorns–what tree is that???? Get the idea?

4.) WATER!!! First, drink plenty of it to stay hydrated. Get out a hose and let it run on the driveway. Practice stomping through the water. Get a bucket from your beach bag and a new paint brush: “Paint” whatever you want with the water. See my pages on summer activities. The ideas are simply endless.

Get outside and get moving!  It will be over before you know it!

For more ideas on how to play to enhance development, click HERE for available books.

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Having Fun with Puddles!

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Spring is on its way and hopefully the spring rains won’t get you down! It is a great time for toddlers and a chance to make some awesome memories!

How many times do we run quickly through the rain or go out afterward and watch as our children are drawn like magnets to the nearest puddle and we say “no” or “stop”. Now is the time to dig out some rubber boots or river shoes and say “yes”. On these upcoming warm days after a good spring rain, see how much fun you can have splashing in a puddle together! This is an excellent way to get your child to use those hip muscles and march through a puddle or work on jumping or kicking! Make a “boat” out of leaves or whatever strikes you and watch as your child squats to play or jumps in a puddle. See what “floats” and what “sinks”.  All of these fun games are strengthening his or her legs and hips as well as making some wonderful memories. Take some pictures!

For more ideas on how to play to enhance development, see available books by clicking HERE

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New Year’s Diet: The Toddler Diet

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The Toddler Diet

People are always on the lookout for a new diet. The
trouble with most diets is that you don’t get enough to eat (the starvation diet), you don’t get enough variation (the liquid diet) or you go broke (the all-meat diet).

Consequently, people tend to cheat of their diets, or quit after 3 days. Well, now there’s the new

Toddler Miracle Diet.

Over the years you may have noticed that most two year olds are trim. Now the formula to their success is available to all in this new diet. You may want to consult your doctor before embarking on this diet, otherwise, you may be seeing him afterwards.

Good Luck! !!

DAY ONE

Breakfast: One scrambled egg, one piece of toast with grape jelly. Eat 2 bites of egg, using your fingers; dump the rest on the floor. Take 1 bite of toast, then smear the jelly over your face and clothes.

Lunch: Four crayons (any color), a handful of potato chips, and a glass of milk (3 sips only, then spill the rest).

Dinner: A dry stick, two pennies and a nickel, 4 sips of flat Sprite.

Bedtime snack: Throw a piece of toast on the kitchen floor.

DAY TWO

Breakfast: Pick up stale toast from kitchen floor and eat it. Drink half bottle of vanilla extract or one vial of vegetable dye.

Lunch: Half tube of “Pulsating Pink” lipstick and a handful of Purina Dog Chow (any flavor). One ice cube, if desired.

Afternoon snack: Lick an all-day sucker until sticky, take outside, drop in dirt. Retrieve and continue slurping until it is clean again. Then bring inside and drop on rug.

Dinner: A rock or an uncooked bean, which should be thrust up your left nostril. Pour Grape Kool-Aid over mashed potatoes; eat with spoon.

DAY THREE

Breakfast: Two pancakes with plenty of syrup, eat one with fingers, rub in hair. Glass of milk; drink half, stuff other pancake in glass. After breakfast, pick up yesterdays sucker from rug, lick off fuzz, put it on the cushion of best chair.

Lunch: Three matches, peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Spit several bites onto the floor. Pour glass of milk on table and slurp up.

Dinner: Dish of ice cream, handful of potato chips, some red punch. Try to laugh some punch through your nose, if possible.

FINAL DAY

Breakfast: A quarter tube of toothpaste (any
flavor), bit of soap, an olive. Pour a glass of milk over
bowl of cornflakes, add half a cup of sugar. Once cereal is soggy, drink milk and feed cereal to dog.

Lunch: Eat bread crumbs off kitchen floor and dining room carpet. Find that sucker and finish eating it.

Dinner: A glass of spaghetti and chocolate milk. Leave meatball on plate. Stick of mascara for dessert.
source:

http://www.jokebuddha.com/joke/The_toddler_diet#ixzz3NUMZOekT

For ideas on how to play with your child to enhance development, click HERE for available books.

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My new course is on the way!

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My course and all related materials are all in final stages of development. I am currently gathering information on when and where the course will first be held and subsequent dates will follow. Please check back often and email me anytime at beth@mybabymoves.com

 

My FIRST book is now available in both downloadable ($10) and print ($20 s/h included) forms.

These games and activities are compiled from my 23 years of working with children as a pediatric physical therapist. I hope that you will remember that you should never leave your child unattended during these activities and these are not meant to take the place of any type of therapy that your child may or may not need. These are simple ways to incorporate games and fun into making wonderful memories and at the same time offering your child more opportunities to develop his or her gross motor skills.

Whether you are a therapist looking for more ideas or a mom that is needing information or both, this book will help guide you into creating fun and development through play. Play is the key to helping your child develop. It has got to be fun for your child or he or she will not want to keep practicing. Hopefully, you will find some new ways to inspire your child to keep moving!

See here:

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