Did you know Tummy Time is not just for babies? Robyn Papworth brought this to my attention! It piqued my interest and I read on! Robyn discussed how we often talk about tummy time for babies however the importance of tummy time for children and even us adults cannot be underestimated! Please read on for some reasons tummy time is important for everyone!
Lying on one’s tummy as a baby builds strength in the core muscles as well as building stability in the shoulders. It is vital for these muscles to be strong to support baby holding up their weight so they can crawl and then move into standing and walking. Have you ever seen a baby wobbling a little as they are crawling on their hands and knees?
They are not quite stable and are still building that strength in their core and shoulders to be able to support their legs and arms, everything moves together in sync to support their success in movement. Don’t we get excited when we see babies master these skills?
Why wouldn’t this be important for everyone?
If this is the case for babies, why wouldn’t this important time on our tummies apply to older children and us adults? Stability in our core also supports our self-regulation and ability to attend to tasks and concentrate, tummy time develops reflex integration and visual tracking!
Baby Tummy Time
During your baby’s play time, lay on your tummy looking at your baby either side by side or face to face changing the positions around can help baby gain different perspectives. Talk to your baby naming and describing their face and their features. Look into your baby’s eyes and communicate a silent message of love just between the two of you.
Spend a minute communicating together using a soft, gentle voice and connecting. After a minute you could change positions and sing heads and shoulders knees and toes.
Toddler Tummy Time
Toddler tummy time can be more active, engaging and noisy as their energy is often at high levels!
Develop a short obstacle course where climbing as well as sliding on the tummy, or commando crawling along the floor to get to the ‘prize’ is required. This can be a storytime with you or a favourite activity. Model to and show them how to crawl along and engage with you in the obstacle course, making up a song to sing as you go, to a familiar tune like “wheels on the bus’!
The arms of your Mummy go crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl.
The arms of your Daddy go crawl, crawl, crawl, all through the room.
Mummy’s tummy goes slide, slide, slide, slide, slide, slide, slide, slide, slide,
Daddy’s tummy goes slide, slide, slide, all through the room.
Have fun with it and use your toddler’s name in the next verse!
Preschool Tummy Time
Encouraging your pre-schooler to read stories, sing songs, do a puzzle and draw on their tummy is a great way to get two minutes or more on their tummy!
Supporting their tummy strength and shoulder stabilisation is important as they will be going off to school soon and need both their fine (small or hand muscles) motor strength and skills for writing, cutting and drawing. As well as their gross (large muscles) motor strength and skills for running, sports and other activities and games they play at school.
Tummy Time for Primary School
School age children are often involved in many types of activities and these can include tummy time as part of it!
However, try encouraging them to do some floor activities like reading on their tummy, or writing, or drawing, or constructing will support them having the core strength and stability they need as well as the visual tracking needed for reading!
Play board games with them on the floor for a while like dominoes, where crawling and reaching out to match the domino can further enhance the benefits of tummy time. Connecting together for these short periods in a busy life of families supports each other and keeps those communication lines open.
Tummy Time for Teens & Adults
Finally, teens and us as adults can find it difficult to get onto to the floor at all as it can be tricky getting back up! Putting a support in place like a chair nearby to assist may be helpful.
Yoga on a mat, lying on a table or on the bed while you check your social media or read an article, begin your meditation or read a chapter, watch a video, may all be places you can have two minutes of tummy time to support your own wellbeing and flexibility.
Schedule it in, two minutes a day on your tummy, try it today!
Reference: Robyn Papworth., (2022). Developmental Educator, Tummy Time isn’t just important for Babies each Day. LinkedIn, 9th March 2022.
Tina Bambury, P.L.A.Y. with a Purpose
At P.L.A.Y. with a Purpose we empower people BIG and small to play with passion and purpose! We find and source toys, resources and make 40% of our range including sensory toy sacks available through our online store and markets stalls for children and their families to support them to play, connect and learn together.
We invite children, parents and grandparents to our Music Miracles, Yoga Heroz and GroovaRoo Baby Wearing Dance classes. We provide Parenting Education Classes and one on one classes for children who need some specialised learning time using play as the tool. Children learn best through play. We are available for consultation or can do a custom designed workshop by appointment.