Day 5 Differentiating the Legs, Feet and Toes
For working with the toes, you might want to check back to lesson week 3 / day 5.
In this lesson, we will move the joints of the leg first independently, then together, and explore the freedom in the joints. The rest of the body will stay still for most of the lesson, just go where it is easy.
Put your child on the side, lying comfortably. Choose the side it likes best (you can switch back and forth from the left side to the right during the lesson if this is more comfortable for your child). Place a folded blanket under the head if necessary. Bend the legs for more stability if possible.
- Gently lift the leg a little bit so that is parallel to the floor, the knee on one height with the hips. Slowly swing it back and forth in the hip joint and see where it moves easily, in a way that the body can lie still, and just the leg is moving in the hip - no more. The range of the movement will increase in time.
- See where you can find movement in the knee joint.
- See where you can find movement in the ankles.
- Place a folded blanket under the knee so you have your hands free (leg still parallel to the floor) and start bending the toes as we have done before.
- Lift the small toe and bring the big one down, and the opposite. Here, the knee might lift and lower a bit, that is fine. If the child can experience movement in the ankle while the toes are going in different directions, you are doing beautiful.
- Do small circles with the foot.
- Again, look for easy movement in the hip joint, then the knee.
- Still with a bent knee, bring the leg forward, closer to the chest, and move foot and toes there.
- Bring it back, and move foot and toes there.
- Again, lift the leg in a position parallel to the floor. While bending the foot a bit more (in a standing position), bring the knee a tiny bit closer to the chest, about 5 times.
- Bring the leg back a bit while stretching the foot (in a "ballet" - position), again about 5 times.
- Combine the movement, back and forth, foot up and down.
- Do the opposite: stretching the foot while bringing the knee closer to the chest, bending it while going back.
- Switch back to bending the leg while bringing it closer to the chest, and stretching while going back.
- Gently and only in a free range of movement, start to enlarge the movement - it might look as if the child were riding a giant bicycle. Now the pelvis can tilt a bit at the end of the movement.
- Put the child on the other side and repeat with the other leg.
Do not worry too much if the sequence isn`t perfect, or the child reacts with movements of its own. It is important to get a general idea: moving the joints first independently, then together in a motion like riding a bicycle and pushing off the floor.