Starfish Therapies

December 30, 2017

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2017

2017-03-28 23.24.31

It’s been a few years since we did a top ten list at the end of the year (that may be because for a few years we weren’t very consistent with posting). Since we managed to get out a post every week of this year (yes, we are patting ourselves on the back) we thought we would take a look back and see what posts were the most read by you our readers!

Here are our top 10 overall from 2017:

10.  Encouraging Rolling From Back to Stomach

9.  What Does High Tone Mean?

8. Easter Egg Hunt For Motor Skills

7.  Having a Ball with Core Muscle Strength

6.  Avoiding the ‘Container Shuffle’ with Your Baby

5.  My Child Isn’t Rolling Over:  Should I Be Concerned?

4.  A Multi-Tasking Activity

3.  A Glossary of Sitting

2. What Does Low Tone Mean?

1.Motor Learning: Stages of Motor Learning and Strategies to Improve Acquisition of Motor Skills

Interestingly enough, all of these were published prior to 2017, so I decided to dig a little deeper and find out our top ten that were published in 2017. Those are:

10. Halloween Inspired Gross Motor Games

9. Single Leg Stance

8. Transitional Movements

7. 10 Things You Didn’t Know a Pediatric PT Could Help With

6. Crossing Midline

5. Taking the Vision out of Balance

4. Core Workout: Hungry Hippos Meets Wreck it Ralph

3. Eccentric Abs (and no, I don’t mean odd!)

2. Ideas to Target the Core

1.Righting Reactions

Happy New Year, thanks for a great 2017 and we look forward to seeing you in 2018!

February 7, 2012

Encouraging Rolling – From Back to Stomach

I’ve already addressed rolling in a previous post, as well as if you should be concerned if your child isn’t rolling yet, but I wanted to provide a video for some visuals on ways to encourage rolling in your child.  This video addresses helping your child to roll from their back onto their stomach.  Its important that your child learn to activate their flexor muscles (abs) to assist with rolling as opposed to throwing their head back to use extension to initiate rolling.  Using a toy or object that your child is interested and engaged in will encourage them to track it visually which they will follow with their eyes, head and then body as you move it to just over their head.  They will also try to reach for it which will further bring their abs into it as well continue the motion in the direction of the roll.  They also need to bring their leg and hip over which can complete the motion onto their belly.  In the beginning they usually need some extra help at the hip to guide them towards their belly, as well as to prevent them from falling right back onto their backs.  Don’t help too much at the hip because they need to start figuring out how much muscle activity they need as well as how far to continue the action (so they don’t fall back) and how to stabilize.  All of the trial and error is great opportunities for them to develop motor planning and work on movement exploration.  Once they are on their belly often their arm can get stuck under their body. If you tickle at their pecs (front of the shoulder) sometimes you can encourage them to pull their arm out.  Often they will figure out ways to maneuver their body until they can get the arm out from underneath them.

One final thing, make sure you help them practice rolling to both the left and the right so that they can maximize their mobility as well as develop their strength equally on both sides.

October 14, 2010

My Child Isn’t Rolling Over: Should I Be Concerned?

Rolling over is one of the first major gross motor milestones you will see when your child is growing and developing and it is your baby’s first opportunity for independent mobility.  Now they can change from tummy to back and vice versa!  Just a note, this may make tummy time more challenging but tummy time will also encourage sooner rolling so its all on the right track!

Rolling should occur in the 3-6 month age range although again, this is a range.  If your child isn’t rolling and is in this range or even outside of this range there are some things you can look at to determine if you should or shouldn’t be concerned.

First, are they spending more time in a carrier, bouncy, bumbo, stroller, etc than on the floor?  Babies should have lots of tummy time and in general kids who spend more time on their bellies begin to roll sooner because they have more muscles that have been strengthened, allowing them to activate different muscles to make rolling more efficient.

If your child is spending time on the floor are they on their tummy or just on their back?  As mentioned above tummy time is critical to muscle development and movement development.

If they are on the floor and they start to fuss or get frustrated do you automatically pick them up and put them in a sitting position (or supportive seat, or carry them)?  Generally they can get frustrated or upset for a variety of reasons but if we begin to show them how to move it can help.  For instance, you can help them to roll over.  This way they can begin seeing options for themselves.  If they start to learn that they can move out of a position it encourages independent movement as opposed to being dependent on someone coming and picking them up or moving them around!

In addition to beginning to encourage independence, learning to roll adds to their motor planning arsenol.  They get to figure it out which will carry over to each new motor skill and activity they learn as they get older.

Learning to roll is just one more building block in the development of gross motor skills and movement!

So, if your child isn’t tolerating time on the floor, they spend a lot of time in a bumbo, car seat, bouncy or being held, they are sitting on their own but not rolling then I would get some advice on how to encourage movement. Its better to catch up early than later!


March 21, 2010

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

One of the first milestones parents often notice is their kids rolling over.  As exciting as that is there is usually a little frustration involved also because now they just won’t stay still!  You want them on their stomach for tummy time and they roll onto their back, or you are trying to change their diaper and they are trying to roll onto their stomach.  As frustrating as this can be, this is a period of exploration because they can now move on their own, they don’t have to wait for you to pick them up or reposition them.

Because of the Back to Sleep initiative kids are spending less and less time on their tummies.  As a result often times kids may not roll as early as they used to because they are not spending the time on their belly learning how to push up and eventually topple over (this is before it becomes a nice smooth rolling motion).

Often times I am asked how to encourage rolling for kids.  There are several ways.  I’ll break it down into rolling from their back and rolling from their belly.

Whey they are on their back the easiest way I have found is to find a toy or object that they are really interested in and hold it in front of them so that they notice it.  Slowly start to move it towards the side and above their head keeping it just out of their reach.  As long as they are actively following it and reaching for it I will set it down on the ground just above their head.  For instance if I am trying to get them to roll to the right I will move the toy towards the right side of their head and leave it on the ground just above and to the right of their head.  If they lose interest because they can’t reach it I will pick it up and begin again and maybe hold it up and dangle it to maintain their interest.  If they are actively reaching and trying to get to it I will sometimes give them a little boost/push at their hip to complete the roll and let them get the toy.  Make sure you practice to both sides though.  I always find it amusing my kiddos that can roll in one direction and then get stuck because they run into the wall or a couch or something and don’t know how to roll the other way!

If they are on their belly and they hate tummy time, you first have to work with them on their tummy time skills.  Check out Strategies for Tummy Time for some ideas.  Once you get them pushing up on their arms use the toy trick again.  Have something in front of them that they like and if you want them to roll from their belly to their back over their left side, move the toy towards the right and slowly behind them.   Make sure they are still engaged in they toy because if they stop looking they aren’t going to roll.  This is when toys that make noise can be good because it provides not only a visual but an auditory stimulus.  If they are attempting but can’t quite make it give them a little help at their hip.  Usually the first couple of attempts are crashes onto their back until they begin to learn control.  Make sure that you practice to both sides!

The key is to find something that motivates your child, get them engaged and then if they are working hard to make it happen, give them a little help so that they have some success.  Make sure they get their hands on the toy when they roll over so they see that there was a reason for doing it.  Rolling opens up the possibilities for independent exploration for your kiddos so lets get them rolling, rolling, rolling!

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