Education in Motion / Resources / October 2021 / Early Intervention: Activities at Home to Support Development

Early Intervention: Activities at Home to Support Development

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This quick guide will provide early developmental activity ideas to help promote physical, social, perceptual, and cognitive development in a variety of positions.

These activities are ideal to be completed with the Leckey Early Activity System. However, if you do not have this equipment, you can improvise with rolled up towels and firm pillows to provide the support required.

Back lying (Supine)

Use foam roll or a towel roll under the knees and a supportive cushion or firm pillow for the head.

Move object side-to-side to encourage visual tracking.

Encourage the arms and legs to come to midline for trunk strength and body symmetry.

Hold onto your child's feet and bicycle their legs to strengthen trunk and leg muscles. Great for communication with you!

Side lying

Manipulate the long foam roll or a towel roll to the desired shape to support the back.

Move objects side-to-side to encourage visual tracking and head movements. Make sure to alternate sides.

Place items within reach to encourage upper limb and purposeful movements.

Encourage the arms and legs to come to midline for trunk strength and body symmetry.

Tummy time (Prone)

Use a foam roll or towel roll under the chest and one at the base of the feet.

Move objects around the child's field of vision to develop head control. Try to prop the child on their forearms. Smells & sounds work, too!

Work towards removing the chest support and extending the arms to bear weight.

Introduce purposeful reaching on both sides to encourage weight shifting. This is an important foundation for crawling.

Long-legged sitting

Build up the "horseshoe" roll to support the child in sitting. As the child becomes more stable, you can move the small roll to just in front of his/her bum to act as a shelf or prevent forward sliding. A smaller roll can also be used to keep the legs apart.

Simply sitting gives the legs a good stretch and allows the arms and hands to become free and able to work on fine motor skills.

Encourage purposeful reaching to each side, as this encourages weight shifting which is an important precursor for transitioning from sitting to lying/kneeling.

As sitting tolerance increases, work towards removing supports over time so the child is continually developing their core strength.

4-point kneeling

Horseshoes or foam rolls can be placed under the child's trunk when support is needed, and rolls should be used at feet to maintain the child in a fixed kneeling position.

Supporting a 4-point kneeling position will help strengthen the necessary muscles in the shoulders and hips.

Introduce weight shifts on either side to help the child develop spatial awareness and balance.

As tolerance progresses, work towards removing supports where you can. Always encourage the child to keep their head upright. Brothers & sisters may want to join in!

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