Free Day and Games: Playing with Stretching and Bending

Get moving

A "side effect" of the lessons you did this week is improved movement in arms and legs: a better organization of the big muscle groups of the torso helps free the limbs.

Now your child has to figure out how to use this. It has to learn cause and effect.

Make it visible

In this video, you see a great example of movement made visibly: the sensation in the baby's legs is transformed into a visible action in the outside world.

You can adapt this to your child by using only one ballon, on one hand. Or putting something under the child`s legs that makes sounds when you kick it.

Hammock

Put your child on a blanket and hold the ends of the blanket, with another grown up helping from the other side. You are creating a hammock. Swinging gently (or not so gently) from side to side is fun for most children. Here is how you can use it to improve the function of the spine: In the hammock, the child is in a bent position. Gently lower it to the floor - it will have to adapt to the vertical and "stretch out" - and lift it again - it bends. Lower the pelvis first, then the head. Let the shoulder area touch the floor and roll down to the pelvis, vertebra by vertebra.

Tickling

Tickling a child will often result in sudden movements. Basically, they are self-defense reflexes - we contract our flexors to protect our organs and soft tissues. Paired with fun and an element of surprise, this has an aspect of "Angstlust" - the mixture of a little bit of fear and excitement, paired with joy. Tickle around the belly button - in this area you will find the biggest and strongest muscles. You want to prepare the action with sounds (uuuuuuuUUUUUUUHHHH...bam), and would ideally see hands and legs come up and together. The child`s laughter will show you the way (you cannot force it if the child doesn`t react).

Painting the Bellybutton

There is a moment in child development when children are fascinated by their bellybuttons and play with them. This looks insignificant - but try to do that yourself, and you will find how much movement in the upper vertebrae of your neck is involved in that movement! With older children, you can try to use this effect by painting the bellybutton or belly, or moving toys in the area below the child - drive a toy car or roll a ball between the legs of a child that is standing on all fours.

There is one more lesson for you to read for this week.