APRIL IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY MONTH!
Everyone always thinks that tummy time is important only for
babies but I want to tell you it is actually important for kids of all
ages. Tummy time, also known as prone on elbows,
is a developmental position in which the child is on their belly on a flat
surface and propped up on their elbows.
I recommend this position for all of my children especially my older
kids and here is why…
When the neck is extended it stimulates the brain
stem which can be very regulating to the sensory system
It helps build strength and stability through
the shoulders and upper arms which is so important in the development of fine
and visual motor skills
It also promotes increased visual skills such as
tracking a moving object which is important to the development of higher level
skills such as academics and gross motor acquisition
Here are some suggestions for activities while on tummy:
Coloring, handwriting or homework tasks. I like to use a 3” binder as a slant board to
help facilitate grasp while writing or coloring.
Complete puzzles large or small.
Watch TV or play a short video game. I recommend only a short period of screen
Use an exercise ball with the child laying belly down while completing a floor task.
Read a book.
Play board games.
Great for children to do at school for circle
The ideas are limitless and I encourage parents to get on
the floor and interact with their child in that position as well! Remember that the child may only tolerate
several minutes at a time, but keep encouraging and persisting and eventually
their endurance will improve.
Erin Kizzar, MOT, OTR/L
OT Department Manager, Therapyworks
Melissaanddoug Blog—5 tummy time tips: It’s not just for babies