This week, our Early Childhood expert Nolwenn Deschard, wants to focus on the benefits of free motor skills for babies.
What is free motor skills?
Developed by the Hungarian pediatrician Emmi Pikler, free motor skills consist in letting babies move freely, in a secure environment, so that they learn by themselves to explore and gain confidence in their natural abilities. The child can then move from one stage to another, when he or she feels ready and in the way that suits them.
In concrete terms, how do you apply free motor skills with babies?
To allow the child to move naturally, you must accompany him, but not put yourself in his place.
- Give him space and let him experiment when he moves: instead of putting him in a playpen or a deckchair, for example, give him a suitable floor space in a secure area.
- Vary the positions and gestures that help him to get moving: instead of sitting him down if it's a new position for him, let him crawl on his own to grab the toys that interest him
- Respect the stages of movement from birth to walking: instead of encouraging him to walk by holding both hands, let him try it on his own when he feels able to do so
Free motor skills, illustration of bougribouillons by Planète Enfants & Développement
As parents or professionals of the Early Childhood, let's question our practices and go further: how to make my child understand that at home or at the nursery he is free to go everywhere but that on the other hand at friends' houses, in the street or at the store it is not the case anymore; that he has to stay in the arms, in the back, in a sling, in the stroller or even hold the hand of the adult?
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